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Dartmouth Tuck’s 2024 Application Essays Focus on Identity, Inclusion

Last year, all three of the required essay questions on Tuck’s MBA application started by describing the traits of Tuck students. This year, the questions have been revised to focus on you. Together they offer a generous opportunity to tell who you are, showcase unique characteristics and experiences that will enrich the Tuck class and community and demonstrate inclusiveness.

While the first essay prompt remains essentially the same, with some minor rewording, changes to the other two are more significant.

This year’s Essay 2 invites you to: “Tell us who you are. How have your values and experiences shaped your identity and character? “How will your background contribute to the diverse Tuck culture and community?” Essay 3 asks, “Describe a time you meaningfully contributed to someone else’s sense of inclusion in your professional or personal community.”

“To me these really look like essays that have been revised in the light of the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action,” says Caroline Diarte Edwards, Fortuna co-founder and director. Although the ruling banned the consideration of race in university admissions, “nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

“That seems to be exactly what Tuck is seeking here: they are specifically asking for candidates to tell them more about their background and how their experiences have shaped their identity and character, and they’ve added a question about inclusion,” says Diarte-Edwards. They are explicitly digging for those diversity stories.”

No matter what your background, this is a golden opportunity. Tuck, like all schools, seeks to admit a class that includes diverse perspectives and backgrounds and a set of students who will fit and thrive in Tuck’s unique culture and community. Since the first essay is a version of the classic “Why an MBA? Why Tuck?” prompt, now you can use all three essays to tell them exactly who you are and why you fit.

By sharing a story of how you advanced and supported inclusion, you will demonstrate how you will do so among your peers at Tuck.

While Tuck classes are “diverse by design,” they are seeking some shared characteristics as outlined in the school’s admissions criteria. Make sure your stories reflect some of those traits — but, as always, show — don’t tell — how you are smart, curious, engaged, purposeful, principled, etc.

The challenge is to provide a concise, compelling, story within a brief 300-word limit for each question.

For our best advice on how to respond with essays that will help you demonstrate your fit and yet memorably stand out from the crowd, see our essay tips here.

For more expert guidance on any or every aspect of your application, sign up for a free consultation and see how Fortuna’s coaches can help you.

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