Skip to main content

Nova Nation Essays

The Office of Undergraduate Admission seeks applicants with characteristics that reflect our three core values: Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity) and Caritas (Love). These values define us as Villanovans. They are indelibly printed on our University seal and are a clear indication of our Augustinian identity.

At Villanova, we view our essay as a unique opportunity for students to move beyond the transcript and introduce the individual behind the application. Villanova requires applicants to submit both their Common Application essay and two short Villanova Essays. The two supplemental responses must be different from the response shared in the Common Application essay section.

For the first Villanova-specific essay, we have offered a range of topics to pique your interest. We hope to gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Choose one of the four topics below and submit a written response in about 250 words.

For your second response we would like to know a little bit more about why you are interested in attending Villanova University. This is a shorter essay and should be about 100 words.


Villanova Essay Free Choice Prompts (2020-21)

Clearly indicate which selection you choose at the top of your essay. Please respond in about 250 words.

Option One:
What is the truest thing that you know? How did you come to this conclusion?

Option Two:
Villanovans are known for "holding doors open" because inclusion is at the core of who we are. Take us on a journey through your background and describe how your life experience has shaped your understanding of the word "inclusion".

Option Three:
Generation Z is arguably the most technologically savvy cohort in history. They find answers to questions, discover troves of new music, or even start the next global social movement, all within seconds. How has this seemingly limitless connectivity influenced the person you have become?

Option Four:
In St. Augustine's book Confessions, one of the themes is the idea of redemption and second chances. Tell us a story about second chances. It can be your experience or one that you have come across through others or through media.


Why Nova Essay (2020-21)

You may be aware that our community, which we have affectionately named “Nova Nation,” is an exciting place to be. With a legacy spanning 178 years, there is rich history to look back on, and an abundant future to look forward to. Our second Villanova essay question asks: Why do you want to call Villanova your new home and become part of our community? For this short response, please reveal what you find appealing about Villanova in about 100 words.


Common Application Essay

Please also submit the essay of your choice from the Common Application.

Click here to view the 2020-21 Common Application Essay Prompts


To alleviate the stress and anxiety surrounding the composition of your essays, please consider the “Pro-Tips for a Well-Written Essay” section. These tips may help guide you as you tackle the task of crafting your perfectly imperfect Villanova essays!

Pro-Tips for a Well-Written Essay:

Picture of student sitting at computer

Speak your truth. Every person has a story to tell. We want to know yours! Your essay is a window into your truest self. Share what makes you unique and express yourself authentically.

Relax! This should be fun! Most of your application is largely unchanging. Parts of high school may or may not have gone as planned, but your essay is something you are creating from scratch. When done well, it can show your personality and character. Embrace that!

Make your words count and worry less about counting your words. Try not to stress about going over or under the suggested word count—as long as it is close. The words you choose to submit should hold meaning and intently answer the prompt you chose.

There are no right or wrong answers. The questions we craft are done with the intent of getting to know you. There is no magic formula or secret code. We are looking for you to think critically and give us insight to add to your application.

Seriously proofread and proofread seriously. A well-crafted essay is usually the product of many revisions. Please review your content and edit your work before you submit it for consideration. You may be surprised to learn how often we come across avoidable typos or grammatical errors. We know you are eager to complete your application, but taking a little extra time to check your work can go a long way!

Ask for a second opinion, not a rewrite. It can be helpful to ask someone to read over your writing to make sure everything makes sense, but also keep in mind that this needs to be your voice. While any suggested improvements can help serve as some guidance, they should not completely change the original content of your essay.