Essay Prompts

Below you will find the Class of 2023 essay prompts for the Common App and Coalition App as well as specific colleges. Scroll down to see the specific college supplemental essay prompts. We will add more college essay prompts as they are released.

2023-2024 Essay Prompts2022-2023 Essay Prompts2021-2022 Essay Prompts

2023-2024 Essay Prompts

Common Application Essays

Common Application Essays
In 250-650 words, respond to one of the following prompts:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Coalition Application Essays

Coalition Application Essays
While there is no perfect length for an essay, we recommend that you aim for 500 to 650 words.

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?
Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?
Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?
What success have you achieved or obstacle have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?
Submit an essay on a topic of your choice

University of Georgia
University of Georgia Essay Prompt

The transition from middle to high school is a key time for students as they reach new levels of both academic and personal discovery. Please share a book (novel, non-fiction, etc.) that had a serious impact on you during this time. Please focus more on why this book made an impact on you and less on the plot/theme of the book itself (we are not looking for a book report).

2022-2023 Essay Prompts

Common Application Essays

Common Application Essays
In 250-650 words, respond to one of the following prompts:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Coalition Application Essays

Coalition Application Essays
While there is no perfect length for an essay, we recommend that you aim for 500 to 650 words.

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?
Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?
Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?
What success have you achieved or obstacle have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?
Submit an essay on a topic of your choice

American University

American University Essay Prompt
Why are you interested in American University? (150 words max.)

Assumption University

Assumption University Essay Prompt
Please explain, in a few sentences, your answer to the question, “Who or what most influenced you to apply to Assumption University?” (125 words or fewer)

Babson College

Babson College Essay Prompt
Your moment has arrived. Share with us the moments or experiences that have led you to apply to Babson College (500 words maximum).

We invite you to submit your answer in either essay OR video format. If you choose to submit a video, please limit your response to a 1-minute video, which can be submitted via a shared link to YouTube or another video hosting website.

Barnard College

Barnard College Essay Prompt
1. What factors encouraged your decision to apply to Barnard College, and why do you think the college would be a good match for you? (300 words max.)

2. At Barnard, academic inquiry starts with bold questions. What are some of the bold questions you have pondered that get you excited and why do they interest you? Tell us how you would explore these questions at Barnard. (300 words max.)

3. (Optional) Pick one woman — a historical figure, fictitious character, or modern individual — to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. Why does this person intrigue you? What would you talk about? What questions would you ask them? (300 words max.)

4. Use this space to share anything with the Admissions Committee that you feel provides additional context related to your background, experiences or identity. (300 words max.)

Bentley University

Bentley University Essay Prompt
(OPTIONAL) We invite you to share any additional information about why you would like to attend Bentley. (250 words or fewer)

Boston College

Boston College Essay Prompts

All applicants, except those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) major, should respond to one of prompts #1-5 listed below. Students applying to the HCE major must respond to prompt #6 only.

The writing supplement topics for the 2022-2023 application cycle (400 word limit):

1. Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it?

2. In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.

3. At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?

4. Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.

5. Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?

6. For Human-Centered Engineering major applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?

Boston University

Boston University Essay Prompt
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)

Bowdoin University

Bowdoin University Essay Prompt
Generations of students have found connection and meaning in Bowdoin’s “The Offer of the College,” written in 1906 by Bowdoin President William DeWitt Hyde.

To be at home in all lands and all ages;
to count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
and Art an intimate friend;
to gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work
and the criticism of your own;
to carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket,
and feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
to make hosts of friends…who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms and cooperate with others for common ends –
this is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.

Which line from The Offer resonates most with you?

Optional: The Offer represents Bowdoin’s values. Please reflect on the line you selected and how it has meaning to you.
(Limit 250 words)

Brandeis University

Brandeis University Essay Prompt
The Brandeis community is a diverse group of critical thinkers defined by their ability to dive deeper into their learning by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, creating, critiquing and seeking other perspectives. Share an example of how you have used your own critical thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea or interest. (250 words max.)

For International Students Only
What excites you the most about being an international student at Brandeis University? (250 words max.)

Brown University

Brown University Essay Prompt
Essay Questions for First Year Applicants and Transfer Applicants
1. Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar. (200-250 words)

2. Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (200-250 words)

3. Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

Essay Questions for PLME Applicants
Three essays are required for applicants to the PLME:

1. Committing to a future career as a physician while in high school requires careful consideration and self-reflection. How do you feel your personal background provides you with a unique perspective of medicine? (250 word limit)

2. Health care is constantly changing, as it is affected by racial and social disparities, economics, politics, and technology, among others. How will you, as a future physician, make a positive impact? (250 word limit)

3. How do you envision the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) helping you to meet your academic, personal and professional goals as a person and as a physician of the future? (250 word limit)

Essay Questions for Brown|RISD Dual Degree Applicants
One essay is required for applicants to the Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program:

The Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program draws on the complementary strengths of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to provide students with the opportunity to explore diverse spheres of academic and creative inquiry, culminating in a capstone project that interrelates the content, approaches, and methods from two distinct learning experiences.

Based on your understanding of the academic programs at Brown and RISD and the possibilities created by the BRDD program’s broadened learning community, specifically describe how and why the BRDD program would constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you. As part of your answer, be sure to articulate how you might contribute to the Dual Degree community and its commitment to interdisciplinary work. (650 word limit)

Chapman University

Chapman University Essay Prompt
Out of the thousands of universities and colleges, what excites you about attending Chapman University specifically? (200 words max.)

Chapman University seeks to enroll students who bring a rich array of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds to our campus community. We are committed to creating a welcoming university where all of our students can fully participate, reach their fullest potential, and benefit from living, learning, and socializing with people different from themselves. With this in mind, please answer one of the following questions (200 words or fewer).

CHOICE A: PERSONAL VALUES
Our committee would like to hear about a personal value, experience, or lesson that has shaped your identity, behavior, aspirations, or commitment to a sense of belonging. How did it develop and/or change over time and how would it add to the diverse and welcoming fabric of our campus community?

CHOICE B: PERSONAL GROWTH
Part of the Chapman experience is to help students evolve their perspectives. What types of personal growth do you hope to explore at Chapman and how can Chapman help in your growth?

Please answer the following questions in one word, phrase, or sentence. There are no right or wrong answers here. We hope you enjoy working on this section as much as we’ll enjoy reading it.

1. What is your dream job?
2. What are three words to describe yourself?
3. What song should we be listening to while reading your application?
4. Name one dish you would cook for our admission team.
5. What is your favorite subject?
6. What is the top thing on your bucket list?
7. What makes you happy?
8. If Chapman’s admission team came to visit your hometown, what site would you take them to?
9. What can you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?
10. What is something you have always wanted to learn but never had the chance to?
11. Submitted by a prospective student for the class of 2023: What are the best words of advice you have received?

Colgate University

Colgate University Essay Prompts
Optional Supplemental Essays
Question 1:

On Colgate’s campus, students engage with individuals from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, and perspectives during the course of their educational and social experiences. In 200-250 words, please share the benefits you see in engaging with a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff as part of your Colgate experience.

Question 2:

Colgate students immerse themselves in social and intellectual pursuits that inspire them. Tell us in 200-250 words what inspires you and why you want to pursue that at Colgate.

Question 3:

Please complete the following so we can learn a bit more about you. Each response should be no more than 13 words.

– I am fascinated by…
– My favorite book, movie, or television show is…
– My role model is…
– In the future, I hope to …
– One historical figure I would like to meet is…
– My favorite food is…
– One thing I would change is…
– I am most challenged by…
– My favorite place is…
– I am drawn to Colgate University because…

College of Wooster

College of Wooster Essay Prompt
Why are you interested in The College of Wooster? (250 words)

Columbia University

Columbia University Essay Prompts
1. List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)

2. We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

3. A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community. (200 words or fewer)

4. Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words or fewer)

5. In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words or fewer)

Other

For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you previously noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)

For applicants to Columbia Engineering, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you previously noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)

Cornell University

Cornell University Essay Prompts
The primary focus of your college interest essay should be what you intend to study at Cornell.

In the online Common Application Writing Supplement, please respond to the essay question below (maximum of 650 words) that corresponds to the undergraduate college or school to which you are applying.

College Interest Essays for Fall 2023 First-Year Applicants

Brooks School of Public Policy
Why are you drawn to studying public policy? Drawing on your experiences, tell us about why you are interested in your chosen major and how attending the Brooks School will help you achieve your life goals.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Required: Why are you drawn to studying the major you have selected? Please discuss how your interests and related experiences have influenced your choice. Specifically, how will an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Cornell University help you achieve your academic goals?

Optional: At Cornell CALS, we aim to leave the world better than we found it, so we seek out those who are not simply driven to master their discipline, but who are also passionate about doing so to serve the public good. Please elaborate on an activity or experience you have had that made an impact on a community that is important to you. We encourage you to think about community broadly – this could include family, school, or local and global communities (300-word limit).

Optional: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is dedicated to the exploration of the agricultural, life, environmental, and social sciences and welcomes students with interests that span a wide variety of disciplines. Given our agricultural history and commitment to educating the next generation of agriculturalists, please share if you have a background in agriculture or are interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.

Select all that apply:

– My family owns or operates a farm
– I have experience working in agriculture
– I have interest in pursuing a career in agriculture
Please feel free to share additional details below (optional):

College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
What is your “thing”? What energizes you or engages you so deeply that you lose track of time? Everyone has different passions, obsessions, quirks, inspirations. What are yours?

College of Arts and Sciences
Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person…any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College.

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
What kind of a business student are you? Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you. Your response should convey how your interests align with the school to which you are applying within the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management or the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration).

College of Engineering
Instructions: All applicants are required to write two supplemental essays. Each has a limit of 250 words. Essay 1 is required of all applicants. For Essay 2, you must choose between Question A and Question B.

Essay 1
Required response (250 word limit)

How do your interests directly connect with Cornell Engineering? If you have an intended major, what draws you to that department at Cornell Engineering? If you are unsure what specific engineering field you would like to study, describe how your general interest in engineering most directly connects with Cornell Engineering. It may be helpful to concentrate on one or two things that you are most excited about.

Essay 2
Choose either Question A and Question B. (250 word limit)

> Question A: Describe an engineering problem that impacts your local community. This could be your school, neighborhood, town, region, or a group you identify with. Describe one to three things you might do as an engineer to solve the problem.

> Question B: Diversity in all forms is intrinsic to excellence in engineering. Engineering the best solutions to complex problems is often achieved by drawing from the diverse ingenuity of people from different backgrounds, lived experiences, and identities. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity and/or the inclusion of the Cornell Engineering community? What is the unique voice you would bring to the Cornell Engineering community?

College of Human Ecology
How has your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology been influenced by your related experiences? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?

School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you. Your response should show us that your interests align with the ILR School.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College Essay Prompts
Dartmouth’s writing supplement requires that applicants write brief responses to three supplemental essay prompts as follows:

1. Required of all applicants. Please respond in 100 words or fewer:

Dartmouth celebrates the ways in which its profound sense of place informs its profound sense of purpose. As you seek admission to Dartmouth’s Class of 2027, what aspects of the College’s academic program, community, or campus environment attract your interest? In short, Why Dartmouth? Please respond in 100 words or fewer.

2. Required of all applicants. Please respond in 200-250 words:

“Be yourself,” Oscar Wilde advised. “Everyone else is taken.” Introduce yourself in 200-250 words.

3. Required of all applicants. Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 200-250 words:

A. Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. “We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things,” she said. “That is what we are put on the earth for.” In what ways do you hope to make—or are you making—an impact?

B. What excites you?

C. In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba ’14 reflects on constructing a windmill from recycled materials to power electrical appliances in his family’s Malawian house: “If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” What drives you to create and what do you hope to make or have you made?

D. Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth’s Class of 1925, wrote, “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.” What do you wonder and think about?

E. “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” wrote James Baldwin. How does this quote apply to your life experiences?

Davidson College

Davidson College Essay Prompts
1. There are just under 4,000 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. Being as specific as possible, what interests you most about Davidson College (250-300 words)

2. Davidson encourages students to explore curiosities in and out of the classroom. What is a topic, activity or idea that excites you? Tell us why. Examples may include hobbies, books, interactions, music, podcasts, movies, etc. (250-300 words)

Duke University

Duke University Essay Prompts
What is your sense of Duke as a university and a community, and why do you consider it a good match for you? If there’s something in particular about our offerings that attracts you, feel free to share that as well. (250 word limit)

We want to emphasize that the following questions are optional. Feel free to answer them if you believe that doing so will add something meaningful that is not already shared elsewhere in your application. Four optional questions are available – a maximum of 2 can be selected. (250 word limit per essay)

1. We seek a diverse student body that embodies the wide range of human experience. In that context, we are interested in what you’d like to share about your lived experiences and how they’ve influenced how you think of yourself.

2. We believe there is benefit in sharing and sometimes questioning our beliefs or values; who do you agree with on the big important things, or who do you have your most interesting disagreements with? What are you agreeing or disagreeing about?

3. What has been your best academic experience in the last two years, and what made it so good?

4. Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you’d like to share with us more about your identity in this context, feel free to do so here.

Elon University

Elon University Essay Prompts
THINK FAST

Answers to these questions are meant to be brief – 3 sentences or less. Be inventive and thoughtful. Most importantly, be yourself. This is a chance to tell us more about who you really are in a fun, concise manner. We’re excited to get to know you!

Name three songs from your perfect playlist.
We look forward to creating a Spotify playlist from the submissions of our first-year class.

We’re in your hometown. Where should we go and what should we do?
Tell us about your hometown. Our admissions counselors may even take your suggestions when they are in the area! (50 words max.)

What three emojis/GIFs do you use most often? Why?
OK, we know not everyone uses emojis or GIFs – so if you don’t, tell us which three you would choose if you did! (30 words max.)

You are a superhero. What are your powers?
Be imaginative. What would you do with the powers you choose? (30 words max.)

Tell us your top 5.
Take this opportunity to let the admissions committee know more about you. Your top 5 should be something unique to you and give us a glimpse of who you are. Be creative! You may choose any theme for your top 5. Do you love cooking? List your top 5 recipes. Are you enthusiastic about anime? Who are your top 5 characters? Do you watch or participate in a lot of athletic events? Name your top 5 moments. Love to stream; what are you watching? You could even list your top five college tours – as long as Elon is #1!

Explain why these are your top 5: (250 words max.)

Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College Essay Prompt
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (500 words max.)

Emory University

Emory University Essay Prompts
This question is required. Your response should be no more than 200 words.

– What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college?

Getting to Know You
In addition, answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

– Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.

– When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?

– If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?

– Share about a time when you were awestruck.

– Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

Fordham University

Fordham University Essay Prompt
You may choose to respond to the optional question below.

At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to be an advocate for your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Please provide an example that illustrates a facet of yourself that we would not find anywhere else in your application. (150 words max.)

George Mason University

George Mason University Essay Prompts
ESSAY REQUIREMENTS
What is your motivation for pursuing higher education? Why do you believe George Mason University is the right institution for you? (400 word limit)

Georgetown University

Georgetown University Essay Prompts
ESSAY REQUIREMENTS

Short Essay
Briefly (approximately one-half page, single-spaced) discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.

Longer Essays
Compose two brief essays (approximately one page, single-spaced each) on the topics given below. Essays should be typed.

Essay One
ALL APPLICANTS: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.

Essay Two
APPLICANTS TO GEORGETOWN COLLEGE: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

APPLICANTS TO THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, or Human Science).

APPLICANTS TO THE SCHOOL OF NURSING: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major Nursing.

APPLICANTS TO THE WALSH SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE: The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?

APPLICANTS TO THE MCDONOUGH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

Other
Please indicate any special talents or skills that you possess.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech Short-Answer Question
Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech? (max 300 words)

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University Essay Prompt
1. Please share an experience that made you feel uncomfortable or challenged, and then explain how you grew from that situation.

2. Please share an experience you have had outside of the classroom that has contributed to your personal growth.

(no length, but “shorter” than 650 common app)

Harvard University

Harvard University Essay Prompts
You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. You may write on a topic of your choice, or you may choose from one of the following topics:
– Unusual circumstances in your life
– Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities
– What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
– An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you
– How you hope to use your college education
– A list of books you have read during the past twelve months
– The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
– The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission?
– Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college. If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do?
– Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College Essay Prompt

1. “Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” – Dr. Clifton Poodry

How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve, the people you want to work with, and the impact you hope your work can have? (500 words max.)

2. Many students choose Harvey Mudd because they don’t want to give up their interests in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts – or HSA as we call it at HMC. Briefly (in 100 words or less) describe what you’d like to learn about in your dream HSA class.

Optional: You may include examples of mathematical or scientific endeavors or research abstracts if relevant. Please limit your submission to two pages.

High Point University

High Point University Essay Prompts
1. Describe any special interests or hobbies that you may have. (50 Word Limit)

2. Describe any meaningful travel experiences (both national and international). (50 Word Limit)

Indiana University

Indiana University Essay Prompt
Describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, undergraduate research, academic interests, leadership opportunities, etc.) that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Also, if you encountered any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles in pursuit of your education, share those experiences and how you overcame them. (200-400 words)
This essay may be used in scholarship consideration.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University Essay Prompt
Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

Lafayette College

Lafayette College Essay Prompt
Students identify Lafayette as an excellent fit for countless reasons. In your response, be deliberate and specific about your motivation for applying to Lafayette.

Why Lafayette? (20-200 words)

Lehigh University

Lehigh University Essay Prompts
1. How did you first learn about Lehigh University and what motivated you to apply? (150-word limit)

2. A compelling characteristic of Lehigh’s community is that our students want to be actively engaged in their learning, their community, and the world. Our students look to make a difference and have a real-world impact. We expect our community to challenge your viewpoint, your naturalized assumptions, and the way that you see the world around you. Lehigh University is committed to being an anti-racist institution. By this, we mean actively speaking out and addressing acts of racism, racist comments, racist practices, policies, and procedures.

What would you want to be different in your own country or community to further principles of equality, equity, or social justice? (300-word limit)

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University Essay Prompt
Please briefly state your reason for wishing to attend LMU and/or how you came to select your major. (500 words)

As part of our holistic review process, it is critical that we understand the comprehensive experience of all applicants. Please provide a detailed explanation, in 250 words or less, regarding any break or interruption in your academic history throughout high school (secondary school) and beyond.

Lynn University

Lynn University Essay Prompt
Why are you applying to Lynn? (150 word limit)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT Essay Prompts

For the 2022–2023 application, we’re asking these short answer essay questions:

We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it.
Describe the world you come from (for example, your family, school, community, city, or town). How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
MIT brings people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together to better the lives of others. Our students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way you have collaborated with people who are different from you to contribute to your community.
Tell us about a significant challenge you’ve faced (that you feel comfortable sharing) or something that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?

We’re looking for responses of approximately 200 words each. There is also one final, open-ended, additional-information text box where you can tell us anything else you think we really ought to know.

New York University

New York University Essay Prompt
NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University Essay Prompts
Required Short Answer Questions

> Explain why you selected the academic program(s) above and why you are interested in studying these at NC State. (250 words)

> NC State University is committed to building a just and inclusive community, one that does not tolerate unjust or inhumane treatment, and that denounces it, clearly and loudly. Please describe what those words mean to you and how you will contribute to a more diverse and inclusive NC State environment. (250 words)

Northwestern University

Northwestern University Essay Prompts
In 300 words or less, help us understand how you might engage specific resources, opportunities, and/or communities here. We are curious about what these specifics are, as well as how they may enrich your time at Northwestern and beyond.

Occidental College

Occidental College Essay Prompts
In the Short Answers section of the Common App, we ask you to respond to the following three prompts:

1. Why are you applying to Occidental? What are your academic interests and why do you think Occidental is the right place for you to pursue them? (150 – 200 words)

2. Please answer one of the following questions—your choice (200 – 300 words):
– Research is an integral part of an Oxy education. Completing a senior comprehensive is a requirement of every Oxy student and there are a myriad of opportunities for research throughout your four years. Imagine you were just awarded one of our research grants for a project of your choice. What are you researching and why?

– Briefly describe a current event or social movement that is affecting a place that is important to you. Describe its significance to you and the future implications for that community. How do you anticipate an Oxy education helping you better understand and respond to that event/movement?

– Oxy’s central mission emphasizes the value of community amidst diversity. What do you value in a community and how do you see your perspectives and life experiences enhancing it?

3. What is the first song you would play for your Oxy roommate on move-in day?

Penn State

Penn State Essay Prompts
Please tell us something about yourself, your experiences, or activities that you believe would reflect positively on your ability to succeed at Penn State. This is your opportunity to tell us something about yourself that is not already reflected in your application or academic records. We suggest a limit of 500 words or fewer.

Pomona College

Pomona College Essay Prompts
The Pomona-specific essay prompts for those applying for Fall 2023 admission include an academic interest statement (max. 150 words); a short-response essay (max. 150 words); and a longer-response essay (max. 250 words).

(1) Academic Interest Statement: What do you love about the subject(s) you selected as potential major(s)? If undecided, share more about one of your academic passions.

(2) Short-Response Essay: choose to respond to one of the following three prompts in 150 words or less:

– At Pomona, we celebrate and identify with the number 47. Share with us one of your quirky personal, family, or community traditions and why you hold on to it.

– What item are you excited to bring with you to college?

– Describe a time when you felt empowered or on top of the world?

(3) Longer-Response Essay: choose to respond to one of the following three prompts in 250 words or less:

– In the past few years, is there something you have changed your mind about? Why?

– Reflecting on a community that you are part of, what values or perspectives from that community would you bring to Pomona?

– What strength or quality do you have that most people might not see or recognize?

Princeton University

Princeton University Essay Prompts
Extracurricular Activity and Work Experience

Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (Please respond in 150 words or fewer)

Your Voice

Please respond to each question in 250 words or fewer.

– At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?

– Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.

More About You

Please respond to each question in 50 words or fewer. There are no right or wrong answers. Be yourself!

– What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?

– What brings you joy?

– What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

Providence College

Providence College Essay Prompts
Should you choose to complete an optional essay, please select one of the following prompts and limit your response to 250-500 words.

1. As a liberal arts school, Provide College provides students with the opportunity to explore several different academic areas. While you may not be ready to declare a major, what have you experienced, inside or outside of the classroom, that has led you to an interest in a particular field of study?

2. Dialogue, Inclusion and Democracy is a program on campus whose mission is to create a safe space that supports the development of well-informed and engaged students through civil discourse. There are several spaces on campus where students, faculty and staff can pose questions to the PC community and dialogue forms from there. One of the questions posted recently was “Name a time where you’ve felt empowered or represented by an educator.” What question would you like to post to the PC community and why?

3. If you could have a theme song, what would it be and why?

Purdue University

Purdue University Essay Prompt
1. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words or fewer)

2. How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

3. Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Rice University

Rice University Essay Prompts
The Admission Committee is interested in getting to know each student as well as possible through the application process. Please respond to each of the following prompts.

1. Please explain why you wish to study in the academic areas you selected above. (150 words max.)

2. Based upon your exploration of Rice University, what elements of the Rice experience appeal to you? (150 words max.)

Rollins College

Rollins College Essay Prompt
Please briefly elaborate on your community service or one of your extracurricular activities. (250 words max.)

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College Essay Prompts
The Common Application essay is an important way for us to get to know your voice, but we know there may be more you want to tell us that just didn’t quite fit into the rest of the application. For applicants who might wish to share a little more about how Sarah Lawrence fits into the next stage of their education, we invite you to respond to one of the following four essay prompts:

– Sarah Lawrence students are often described as hyphenates: director-playwright-sound designer, environmentalist-photographer, journalist-linguist, economist-poet. In 250-500 words, tell us about seemingly disparate interests you’ve brought together, or hope to bring together at Sarah Lawrence.

– Students at Sarah Lawrence are asked to design their own research questions and answer them during semester-long projects. In 250-500 words, thoughtfully respond to a prompt of your own creation.

– Sarah Lawrence College’s community places strong value in inclusion and diversity. In 250-500 words, tell us about what you value in a community and how your perspective, lived experiences, or beliefs might contribute to your College community.

– In her 2019 commencement address, journalist Maggie Haberman ’96 told the graduating class: “My time at Sarah Lawrence helped me understand the importance of patience, of assuming good faith in others, and of finding truth.” In 250-500 words, tell us about a time you spoke your own truth or found the importance in one of the values Maggie describes.

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Essay Prompts
1. SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250-word limit)

2. SMU is a diverse learning environment shaped by the convergence of ideas and cultures. How will your unique experiences or background enhance the University, and how will you benefit from this community? (250-word limit)

St. John's College

St. John’s College Essay Prompt
Discuss a book that you would call a “great book.” We want to learn both about the ideas in the book and about you. What makes the book great in your view? What effect has it had on what you think or how you think? (Minimum 400 words)

Stanford University

Stanford University Essay Prompts
Short Questions
1. What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50 words max.)

2. How did you spend your last two summers? (50 words max.)

3. What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 words max.)

4. Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (50 words max.)

5. Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50 words max.)

Short Essays
1. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (250 words max.)

2. Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better. (250 words max.)

3. Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (250 words max.)

Stetson University

Stetson University Essay Prompt
Please choose one of the following and upload your response:

– Submit a graded writing sample

– If you could live your life fighting for one cause, what would it be and why?

– Describe a time you did not meet expectations and what impact the experience had on you.

– What gives meaning to your life?

– If you wrote a letter to yourself to be opened in 20 years, what would it say?

– Discuss an issue of state, national, or global concern to you.

– Why write?

Syracuse University

Syracuse University Essay Prompt
Why are you interested in Syracuse University and how do you see yourself contributing to a diverse, inclusive, accessible and respectful campus? (250 word limit)

The George Washington University

The George Washington University Essay Prompts
Supplemental (Optional) Essay

Every applicant can choose from one of the following two essay prompts to submit. (500 words or fewer)

Essay Prompt 1
At the George Washington University, our students frequently interact with policymakers and world leaders. These experiences and those of our alumni can shape the future of global affairs. If you had the power to change the course of history in your community or the world, what would you do and why?

Essay Prompt 2
The George Washington University encourages students to think critically and to challenge the status quo. Thus, civil discourse is a key characteristic of our community. Describe a time when you engaged others in meaningful dialogue around an issue that was important to you. Did this exchange create change, new perspectives, or deeper relationships?

Tufts University

Tufts University Essay Prompts
Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” (100-150 words)

2. Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words):

A) It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

B) How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

C) Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)

2. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words)

Tulane University

Tulane University Essay Prompts
1. Please briefly describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University.
This statement should be 500 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so.

2. Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. If you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here.
This statement should be 500 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. If you choose to answer this prompt, we strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. Keep in mind this prompt will not apply to all applicants, and it is completely optional.

Other: If you would like to elaborate on one of your activities, you may do so briefly here. Max 250.

University of California

University of California Personal Insight Questions
Directions
– You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
– Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
– Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you. However, you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

Keep in mind
– All questions are equal. All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
– There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions. It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.
– Use the additional comments field if there are issues you’d like to address that you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss elsewhere on the application. This shouldn’t be an essay, but rather a place to note unusual circumstances or anything that might be unclear in other parts of the application. You may use the additional comments field to note extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, if necessary.

Questions and guidance
Remember, the personal insight questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC.

1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.

Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?

Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.

Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?

4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few.

If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who you are today?

5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”

6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.

Things to consider: Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can’t get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, internships, employment, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or clubs — and what you have gained from your involvement.

Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?

Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place — like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?

8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

Things to consider: If there’s anything you want us to know about you, but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida Essay Prompt
1. Why are you interested in UCF? (250 words max.)

2. Discuss your reasons for pursuing the academic program (major) selected above. (250 words max.)

University of Chicago

University of Chicago Essay Prompts
Question 1 (Required)

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)

Essay Option 1

Was it a cat I saw? Yo-no-na-ka, ho-ka-ho-ka na-no-yo (Japanese for “the world is a warm place”). Może jutro ta dama da tortu jeżom (Polish for “maybe tomorrow that lady will give a cake to the hedgehogs”). Share a palindrome in any language, and give it a backstory.
– Inspired by Leah Beach, Class of 2026, Lib Gray SB ’12, and Agnes Mazur AB ‘09

Essay Option 2

What advice would a wisdom tooth have?
–Inspired by Melody Dias, Class of 2025

Essay Option 3

You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of Martians suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they’re the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, proof, or other idea. What do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time?
—Inspired by Alexander Hastings, Class of 2023, and Olivia Okun-Dubitsky, Class of 2026

Essay Option 4

UChicago has been affiliated with over 90 Nobel laureates. But, why should economics, physics, and peace get all the glory? You are tasked with creating a new category for the Nobel Prize. Explain what it would be, why you chose your specific category, and the criteria necessary to achieve this accomplishment.
—Inspired by Isabel Alvarez, Class of 2026

Essay Option 5

Genghis Khan with an F1 racecar. George Washington with a SuperSoaker. Emperor Nero with a toaster. Leonardo da Vinci with a Furby. If you could give any historical figure any piece of technology, who and what would it be, and why do you think they’d work so well together?
-Inspired by Braden Hajer, Class of 2025/em>

Essay Option 6

And, as always… the classic choose your own adventure option! In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun!

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder Essay Prompts
Required Short Answer #1 (250 word limit) – At the University of Colorado Boulder, no two Buffs are alike. We value difference and support equity and inclusion of all students and their many intersecting identities. Pick one of your unique identities and describe its significance.

Required Short Answer #2 (250 word limit) – Please share a bit more about your academic interests. What do you hope to study at CU Boulder? What has inspired your interests in this area? Or if you are undecided, what area(s) of study are you considering? Think about your prior/current coursework, extracurricular activities, work/volunteer experiences, future goals, or anything else that has shaped your interests.

University of Florida

University of Florida Essay Prompts
– Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities. If so, please describe. (250 word limit)

– Have you participated in or been assisted in your college preparation and search by programs outside of classroom, such as Educational Talent Search, Take Stock in Children, Upward Bound, Boys and Girls Club, etc.?

If yes, please provide the name of the program, details/benefits of your involvement, and how long your experiences continued. (250 word limit)

– Please provide more details on your most meaningful commitment outside of the classroom while in high school and explain why it was meaningful. This could be related to an extracurricular activity, work, volunteering, an academic activity, family responsibility, or any other non-classroom activity. (250 word limit)

– Is there any other information or extenuating circumstances the Admission Committee should know when reviewing your application? (250 word limit)

University of Florida Honors Program
Why is applying for the UF Honors Program important to you? Which aspects of the program’s three pillars of opportunity, community, and challenge pique your interests? How would you engage with the program to exemplify these pillars yourself? How does the program factor into your long-term goals? (400 words max.)

University of Georgia

University of Georgia Essay Prompt
The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself from your high school years that you have not already shared in your application. (200-300 words)

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Essay Prompt
You’ll answer two to three prompts as part of your application. The questions you’ll answer will depend on whether you’re applying to a major or to our undeclared program, and if you’ve selected a second choice. Each response should be approximately 150 words.

If You’re Applying to a Major:
1. Explain, in detail, an experience you’ve had in the past 3 to 4 years related to your first-choice major. This can be an experience from an extracurricular activity, in a class you’ve taken, or through something else.
2. Describe your personal and/or career goals after graduating from UIUC and how your selected first-choice major will help you achieve them.

If You’re Applying to Our Undeclared Program in the Division of General Studies:
1. What are your academic interests and strengths? You may also include any majors you are considering.
2. What are your future academic or career goals?

If You’ve Selected a Second-Choice Major (Including Undeclared):
1. Please explain your interest in your second-choice major or your overall academic or career goals.

University of Maryland

University of Maryland Essay Prompt
At the University of Maryland, we encourage our students to go beyond the classroom to engage in opportunities that further both their academic and personal growth. To tell us more about yourself, please complete the following sentences using only the space provided (300 characters).

1. If I could travel anywhere, I would go to…

2. The most interesting fact I ever learned from research was…

3. In addition to my major, my academic interests include…

4. My favorite thing about last Wednesday was…

5. When I think of diversity, I think of…

University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst Essay Prompt
Please tell us why you want to attend UMass Amherst? (100 words max.)

University of Miami

University of Miami Essay Prompt
If applying for Spring or Fall 2023, you will be required to submit a supplemental essay of 250 words or less in response to the following prompt:

The University of Miami’s official mascot is the ibis. Folklore maintains that the native marsh bird is the last to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to emerge once the storm passes, making it an apt symbol of courage and resilience.

Considering your ability to control your own motivation and behavior, how have past experiences helped build your courage and resilience to persist in the face of academic and life challenges so that, once these storms pass, you can emerge in continued pursuit of your goals?

University of Michigan

University of Michigan Essay Prompts
1. Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Required for all applicants; 300 word limit)

2. Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (Required for all applicants; 550 word limit)

University of North Carolina

University of North Carolina Essay Prompt
We’ve selected the following prompts for the UNC-specific portion for the first-year and transfer applications for 2022-2023. We aspire to build a diverse and inclusive community at Carolina and believe that students can only achieve their best when they learn alongside students from different backgrounds. In reading your responses, we hope to learn what being a part of the Carolina community would mean to you.

Short answer prompts

You’ll choose two of the following prompts to respond to in 200-250 words:
1. Describe a peer you see as a community builder. What actions has that peer taken? How has their work made a difference in your life?

2. Describe an aspect of your identity (for example, your religion, culture, race, sexual or gender identity, affinity group, etc.). How has this aspect of your identity shaped your life experiences thus far?

3. If you could change one thing to better your community, what would it be? Why is it important and how would you contribute to this change?

4. Former UNC-Chapel Hill employee, community service member, and civil rights activist Esphur Foster once said, “We are nothing without our history.” Her words are memorialized on the Northside Neighborhood Freedom Fighters monument. How does history shape who you are?

Fill-in-the-blank responses

You’ll complete all of the following fill-in-the-blank responses in 25 words each:

1. One family, friend, or school tradition I cherish:

2. If I had an extra hour in every day, I would spend it:

3. If I could travel anywhere, near or far, past, present or future, I would go:

4. The last time I stepped outside my comfort zone, I:

5. People who meet me are most likely to notice, and least likely to notice:

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame Essay Prompts
The University of Notre Dame Writing Section consists of one (1) essay response to a required question and one (1) essay response to a question you select from the options provided. In total, you will write two (2) essay responses. The word count is a maximum of 200 words per essay.

Please provide a response to the following question:

Notre Dame is a Catholic university, founded by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, with a mission to educate the hearts and minds of students. What excites you about attending Notre Dame?

Please provide a response to ONE (1) of the following questions:

1. People in the Notre Dame community come from many different places, backgrounds, and walks of life. How is where you’re from a part of who you are?

2. Tell us about a time when you advocated for something you believe in.

3. If you were given unlimited resources to help solve one problem in your community, what would it be and how would you accomplish it?

4. What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you?

University of Oregon

University of Oregon Essay Prompt

Optional essay
As you’ve looked into what it will be like to attend Oregon, you’ve hopefully learned about what makes Ducks Ducks. No two are alike, though, so tell us what makes you you, and how that connects to our campus community. We are interested in your thoughts and experiences recognizing difference and supporting equity and inclusion, and choosing one of these two options will guide you in sharing those thoughts. You can learn more about equity and inclusion at Oregon by visiting the Equity and Inclusion website. Maximum statement length is 500 words. This statement is not required.

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Essay Prompts
1. Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!) (150-200 words)

2. How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)

For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer these questions in regard to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay.

Considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected, describe how you intend to explore your academic and intellectual interests at the University of Pennsylvania. (150-200 words)

University of Richmond

University of Richmond Essay Prompt
Prompt 1
One essay response is required. Choose from the following prompts:

1. Tell us about the most unusual talent you have, and how you have made it useful.

2. Spiders are essential to the ecosystem. How are you essential to your community or will you be essential in your university community?

3. Please share one idea for actions or policies that you think would begin to address an issue of racial or social injustice.

Word Limit: Minimum 350. Maximum 650 words.

University of Rochester

University of Rochester Essay Prompt
Prompt 1

The University of Rochester motto of Meliora – or “ever better” – deeply integrates critical core values into all that we do. These core values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect and accountability define not only who we are, but also who we hope to become. Please use the space below to highlight a time, creative idea or research experience when you put into action one or more of these characteristics in order to make yourself, your community or the world ever better. (250 words or less)

You may answer one of three ways:

Prompt 1 Essay Response Option: Write an analytical or creative response of 200 words or less.

Prompt 1 Creative Response Option: Upload up to three works of your own art (e.g. pictures, video, performances, literary) and use the space below to provide a brief explanation as to how the art is tied to making the world, your community, and those around you “ever better.”

Prompt 1 Research Response Option: Upload an abstract describing your own related research and use the space below to provide a brief explanation as to how the research is tied to making the world, your community and those around you “ever better.”

Prompt 2

Please select one of the following prompts to respond to in 200 words or less.

Prompt 2 Option A: American social reformer, abolitionist, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass said, “Some know the value of education by having it. I knew its value by not having it.” Explain ways in which education has directly influenced you and your ability to do good in the world. How will you use the curricular flexibility and co-curricular opportunities of the University of Rochester experience to grow and to promote positive change for yourself, your community and the world?

Prompt 2 Option B: Dr. Donna Strickland, University of Rochester alum and 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Physics said, “There’s no point in me being anything other than me.” The University of Rochester encourages each student to embrace who they are and create their own individual curricular path and experience. How will you use the opportunities here to fully be who you are? What unique perspectives will you bring to our community?

Prompt 2 Option C: The University of Rochester benefactor, entrepreneur, photography pioneer, and philanthropist George Eastman said, “What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.” Looking forward towards your college experience, what do you hope to do outside of the classroom at the University of Rochester that will enhance who you are as a person? How will specific academic and social opportunities here help you grow?

Prompt 2 Option D: Susan B. Anthony, champion of abolition and women’s rights, once said “Organize, agitate, educate must be our war cry.” As you look to join our community of doers and disruptors, in what ways do you envision using both the curricular flexibility and co-curricular opportunities to invoke change for marginalized groups?

Prompt 3

Are you interested in pursuing research while enrolled at the University of Rochester? If Yes, what field/area of study are you interested in researching? (20 words)

Combined Degree Program Applicants

What relevant experiences or insight have led to your interest in this particular program? Describe how Rochester’s resources: facilities, faculty, peers and research will meet your academic and personal ambitions. Describe how you see yourself contributing to the challenging field you want to enter as a Rochester graduate. (500 words)

University of San Diego

University of San Diego Essay Prompt
First-Year applicants are required to answer the Mandatory First Year Essay Prompt and either Essay Prompt Option #1, #2, or #3.
Transfer applicants are required to answer the Mandatory Transfer Essay Prompt and either Essay Prompt Option #1, #2, or #3.
Please note that the default word counter on our Common Application essay text boxes permit 350 words, but most applicants find they can answer these prompts in about 200 words.

Mandatory First-Year Essay Prompt
The University of San Diego offers diverse educational opportunities grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. First-year students are immersed in one of our five Learning Communities (LC), with the themes reflecting the vitality of the liberal arts tradition: Advocate, Collaborate, Cultivate, Illuminate and Innovate. Select one of these five themes and describe how it resonates with you and why.

Essay Prompt Option #1
What contribution have you made to your current school and/or local community that best exemplifies your awareness of and commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable community? Here at USD, we believe that our campus community and the communities we engage with are integral parts of who we are as a university. Our newly launched Horizon Project is a call to action, ensuring that we are dedicating the time, energy and resources necessary to build an ever more diverse and inclusive campus community. We value the fact that our students come from all walks of life, have experienced different realities and bring with them an array of unique perspectives, including some that have often been underrepresented and underserved by higher education.

Essay Prompt Option #2
Use this space to write about one of the challenges facing humanity today. Why does it matter to you? What experiences or insights have you had that speak to the urgency of this issue. As a proud Changemaker Campus, as designated by Ashoka U, the USD experience emphasizes changemaking through social justice efforts, civic engagement, social innovation, creativity and a global perspective.

Essay Prompt Option #3
Share some of your ideas about the role of faith or spirituality in your life or the life of someone you know. As a contemporary Catholic university, we welcome and celebrate students from every background and faith tradition, including those who do not identify with a faith tradition. We devote great time and energy to ensuring all students feel connected to the vibrant USD community, including opportunities to grow in their relationship with God while considering who they are, what they believe and who they are called to become.

Mandatory Transfer Essay Prompt
How will USD help enhance your educational and professional goals beyond what your current institution offers?

University of Southern California

University of Southern California Essay Prompts
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (Approximately 250 words)

Starting with the beginning of high school/secondary school, if you have had a gap where you were not enrolled in school during a fall or spring term, please address this gap in your educational history. You do not need to address a summer break.

– Describe yourself in three words.
– What is your favorite snack?
– Best movie of all time:
– Dream job:
– If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
– Dream trip:
– What TV show will you binge watch next?
– Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate?
– Favorite book:
– If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be?

College-Specific Questions and Requirements

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

USC School of Architecture

Roski School of Art and Design

Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation

Marshall School of Business (World Bachelor in Business)

USC School of Cinematic Arts

Kaufman School of Dance

USC School of Dramatic Arts

Viterbi School of Engineering

Thornton School of Music 

USC School of Pharmacy

University of Tampa

University of Tampa Essay Prompts
Please write an essay on one of the following prompts or on a topic of your choice. There is an 800-word limit on essays submitted in this section of the Common App, however, you may choose to submit an essay of any length via the SpartanStart portal at www.ut.edu/spartanstart or by emailing your essay to admissions@ut.edu.

– What are your three favorite words in the English language? Explain what they mean to you.

– Discuss your childhood neighborhood and how it shaped you as a person.

– Describe how you feel about the month of February.

– Imagine that you could have one superpower. What would it be and how would you use it? What would be your kryptonite?

University of Texas

University of Texas Essay Prompt
Essay Topic (500-700 words)
Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Short Answers (250-300 words each)
Complete all three short answer prompts:

Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community, or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.
The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT-Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee Essay Prompt
Optional Supporting Statement
UT has a competitive admissions process that primarily considers your experience and preparation in academic areas, as well as other individual factors. All aspects of your application will be evaluated. Submitting a supporting statement (while optional) can provide crucial information to aid the admissions staff in the decision-making process.

What should I include in my supporting statement?
If you were having a personal interview with members of our admissions staff, what information would you want them to know about you? You can include your academic interests, achievements, involvement in school and the community, important personal experiences, obstacles you’ve overcome, and other aspects of your background. (250-800 words)

University of Vermont

University of Vermont Essay Prompts
Please answer one of the five questions: (500 word limit)

1. Why UVM?

2. Established in 1978 in a renovated gas station in Burlington, VT, Ben and Jerry’s is synonymous with the ice cream business. The company’s success and unique brand identity are due in part to their one-of-a-kind flavors. Which Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor (real or imagined) best describes you?

3. Whether they are constructing a robot, a stronger sense of community or an identity, UVM students are builders. What would you like to build?

4. At UVM, learning extends far beyond the walls of our classrooms. From student-led organizations, to internships and study abroad experiences, UVM students are encouraged to pursue knowledge in all environments. Describe a time when you’ve learned in a non-traditional setting.

5. Communities and organizations are stronger when they value diversity of thought. How do you create meaningful connections or conversations with others when they express opinions that differ from your own?

University of Virginia

University of Virginia Essay Prompts
The first prompt is tied to the UVA school or college the student selects. Answer the prompt in around 100 words.

College of Arts & Sciences: If you could create a college course that all UVA students would take, what would it be about and why?

School of Engineering: How will you use an engineering degree to change the world for the better?

School of Architecture: Describe a significant experience that deepened your interest in studying in the School of Architecture.

School of Nursing: Describe a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing.

Kinesiology Program: Describe an experience that has deepened your interest in studying kinesiology.

Students will then write responses to two prompts out of ten options. Answer in about 50 words each.

1. What’s your favorite word and why?
2. We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. What is one of your quirks?
3. About what topic could you speak for an hour?
4. Take us to your happy place.
5. You can wake up tomorrow and a skill you already have will become expert-level. What skill is that?
6. What is the last gift you gave something that wasn’t bought with money?
7. What website is the internet missing?
8. After a challenging experience, how do you recharge?
9. Tell us about a place you’d like to share with everyone, but also keep to yourself.
10. UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

University of Washington

University of Washington Essay Prompts
Freshman writing section
At the UW, we consider the college essay as our opportunity to see the person behind the transcripts and the numbers. Some of the best statements are written as personal stories. In general, concise, straightforward writing is best, and good essays are often 300-400 words in length.

Essay prompt [required]

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

Maximum length: 650 words

Short response [required]

Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW.

Maximum length: 300 words

Tip: Keep in mind that the UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints.

Additional information about yourself or your circumstances [optional]

You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:

– You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
– Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
– You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended

Maximum length: 200 words

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Essay Prompt
All campuses use the following essay for the Institutional Application:
This part is all about you. Tell us about something you’ve done—academically or personally—and what you’ve learned from it. Was it a success or a challenge? Did it represent a turning point in your life? How did this particular moment in your life influence you, and how will it continue to influence you as you pursue your college education?

UW-Madison and UW-La Crosse require an additional essay:
UW-La Crosse
Please respond to ONE of the following: (1) How will your life experiences, commitments, and/or characteristics enrich the UW-La Crosse campus community? OR (2) Tell us why you are interested in attending UW-La Crosse and what aspects of the campus are especially important to you.

UW-Madison
Tell us why you would like to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided, please describe your areas of possible academic interest.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University Essay Prompts

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (200-400 words)

Villanova University
Villanova University Essay Prompts
Essay 1: Choose one of the five topics below and submit a written response in about 250 words.

1. St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities?

2. What is the truest thing that you know?

3. One of the themes in St. Augustine’s book, Confessions, is the idea of redemption. Tell us your story of being given a second chance.

4. In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?

5. Augustine’s “Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.” Tell us about a societal issue that you believe the wonder of technology is well-poised to help solve.

Essay #2: Why Villanova?
Why do you want to call Villanova your new home and how will you become part of our community?
Please submit a written response of about 150 words.

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Essay Prompt
The Ut Prosim Profile is required for all degree-seeking applicants. Each question has a word limit of 120 words for your response. The Ut Prosim Profile is your opportunity to let us get to know you beyond what is on your application or academic materials. We encourage you to use your own voice and answer each prompt as fully as possible. Once you submit your application, your responses to the Ut Prosim Profile questions are final and cannot be updated.

Please take your time to form responses that you feel confident about and help to support your application for admission.

1. Virginia Tech’s motto is “Ut Prosim” which means ‘That I May Serve’. Share how you contribute to a community that is important to you. How long have you been involved? What have you learned and how would you like to share that with others at Virginia Tech?

2. Resilience is defined as the ability to adapt and learn from a difficulty. Reflect on a time that you have exhibited resilience. What growth did you see in yourself after this experience?

3. Share a time when you were most proud of yourself either as a role model or when you displayed your leadership. What specific skills did you contribute to the experience? How did others rely on you for guidance? What did you learn about yourself during this time?

4. Describe a goal that you have set and the steps you will take to achieve it. What made you set this goal for yourself? What is your timeline to achieve this goal? Who do you seek encouragement or guidance from and how do they support your progress as you work on this goal?

Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University Essay Prompts
– List five books you’ve read that have intrigued you.

– Explain how a text you’ve read – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or literature of any kind – has helped you to understand the world’s complexity (limit: 150 words).

– What piques your intellectual curiosity, and why (limit: 150 words)?

– Give us your Top Ten list. (The choice of theme is yours.) (limit: 100 characters per line)

– Why have you decided to apply to Wake Forest? Share with us anything that has made you interested in our institution. (limit: 150 words

Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis Essay Prompt
Please tell us what you are interested in studying at WashU and why. (200 words max.)

Wellesley College
Wellesley College Essay Prompt
When choosing a college community, you are choosing an intellectual community and a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but it’s a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 and select two items that attract, inspire, or energize you. Have fun with this and use this opportunity to reflect personally on what items appeal to you most and why.

Please limit your response to the Wellesley College essay to two well-developed paragraphs (minimum 250 words, maximum 400 words).

William and Mary
William and Mary Essay Prompt
Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? We know nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us, or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude.

Yale University

Yale University Essay Prompt
Applicants submitting the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application will respond to the following short answer questions:

1. Students at Yale have time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided.

2. Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above. Why are you drawn to it? (200 words or fewer)

3. What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)

Applicants applying with the QuestBridge Application will complete the questions above via the Yale QuestBridge Questionnaire, available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal after an application has been received.

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will also respond to the following short answer questions, in no more than 200 characters (approximately 35 words):
1. What inspires you?

2. Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What would you ask them to discuss?

3. You are teaching a new Yale course. What is it called?

4. What is something about you that is not included anywhere else in your application?

2021-2022 Essay Prompts

Common Application Essays

Common Application Essays
In 250-650 words, respond to one of the following prompts:

      1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
      2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
      3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
      4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
      5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
      6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
      7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Coalition Application Essays

Coalition Application Essays
In fewer than 650 words, respond to one of the following prompts:

      1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
      2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
      3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
      4. What is the hardest part of being a student now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
      5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
American University

American University Essay Prompt

Why are you interested in American University? (150 words max.)

Assumption University

Assumption University Essay Prompt
Please explain, in a few sentences, your answer to the question, “Who or what most influenced you to apply to Assumption University?” (125 words or fewer)

Babson College

Babson College Essay Prompt

Your moment has arrived. Share with us the moments or experiences that have led you to apply to Babson College.

You are invited to respond to the writing supplement with either a traditional essay (500 words maximum) OR a one-minute video. Whichever you choose, no preference is given to either format in admission decisions.

Barnard College

Barnard College Essay Prompt
– What factors encouraged your decision to apply to Barnard College, and why do you think the college would be a good match for you? (Max 300 words)

– At Barnard, academic inquiry starts with bold questions. What are some of the bold questions you have pondered that get you excited and why do they interest you? Tell us how you would explore these questions at Barnard. (Max 300 words)

– (Optional) Pick one woman — a historical figure, fictitious character, or modern individual — to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. Why does this person intrigue you? What would you talk about? What questions would you ask them? (Max 300 words)

Applicants who wish to take a gap year and defer their enrollment to Fall 2023:

In the box below, please indicate if you are considering a deferral to Fall 2023 if you are offered admission for Fall 2022. Please note that admitted students will be required to submit a deferral request form with a detailed outline of their plans by February 2022 for students admitted through Early Decision and by April 2022 for students admitted through Regular Decision. (Max 250 words)

Bentley College

Bentley College Essay Prompt

We invite you to share any additional information about why you would like to attend Bentley. (250 words or fewer)

Boston College

Boston College Essay Prompt

All applicants, except those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) major, should respond to one of prompts #1-5 listed below. Students applying to the HCE major must respond to prompt #6 only.

The writing supplement topics for the 2021-2022 application cycle (400 word limit):

      1. Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it?
      2. In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.
      3. At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?
      4. Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
      5. Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?
      6. For Human-Centered Engineering major applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?
Boston University

Boston University Essay Prompt

What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)

Brandeis University

Brandeis University Essay Prompt

The Brandeis community is a diverse group of critical thinkers defined by their ability to dive deeper into their learning by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, creating, critiquing and seeking other perspectives. Share an example of how you have used your own critical thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea or interest. (250 words max.)

Brown University

Brown University Essay Prompt

Essays questions for first year applicants:

      1. Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar. (200-250 words)
      2. Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (200-250 words)
      3. Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

Three essays are required for applicants to the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME):

      1. Committing to a future career as a physician while in high school requires careful consideration and self-reflection. What values and experiences have led you to believe that becoming a doctor in medicine is the right fit for you? (250 word limit)
      2. Respond to one of the following prompts (500 word limit): A. Health care is constantly changing, as it is affected by racial and social disparities, economics, politics, and technology, among others. How will you, as a future physician, make a positive impact? B. How do you feel your personal background provides you with a unique perspective of medicine?
      3. How do you envision the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) helping you to meet your academic personal and professional goals as a person and as a physician of the future? (500 word limit)

One essay is required for applicants to the Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program:

      1. The Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program draws on the complementary strengths of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to provide students with the opportunity to explore diverse spheres of academic and creative inquiry, culminating in a capstone project that interrelates the content, approaches, and methods from two distinct learning experiences.Based on your understanding of the academic programs at Brown and RISD and the possibilities created by the BRDD program’s broadened learning community, specifically describe how and why the BRDD program would constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you. As part of your answer, be sure to articulate how you might contribute to the Dual Degree community and its commitment to interdisciplinary work. (650 word limit)
Chapman University

Chapman University Essay Prompt

      1. Please tell us about your interest in the major you selected (200 words or fewer). **Students can list a second choice major here and if they do, they’ll need to answer this prompt for both majors.**

      2. Out of the thousands of universities and colleges, what excites you about attending Chapman University specifically? (200 words max)

      3. Choose 1. (200 words max)

        1. Every Chapman student holds multiple identities that create the diverse fabric of our community. Our committee would like to hear about the intersectionality of your identities and how those have played a crucial role in your life.

        2. Part of the Chapman student experience is to grow or transform your own perspectives. What impact would you like to have at Chapman and what legacy would you like to leave on our community?

      4. Please answer the following questions in one word, phrase, or sentence. There are no right or wrong answers here. We hope you enjoy working on this section as much as we’ll enjoy reading it.

        1. What is your dream job?

        2. Please list three words to describe yourself.

        3. What song should we be listening to while reading your application?

        4. Name one dish you would cook for our admission team.

        5. What is your favorite subject?

        6. What is the top thing on your bucket list?

        7. What makes you happy?

        8. Created by a prospective student of the Fall 2019 class: If Chapman’s admission team came to visit your hometown, what site would you take them to?

        9. Created by a prospective student of the Fall 2020 class: What can you give a 30-minute presentation on without any preparation?*

        10. Created by a prospective student of the Fall 2021 class: If you could teach a college course that best describes you, what would it be called?

        11. Created by a prospective student of the Fall 2022 class: What is something you have always wanted to learn but never had the chance to?

Columbia University

Columbia University Essay Prompt
Writing Questions

1. List the titles of the required readings from academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)

2. List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)

3. We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

4. A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and live in a community with a wide range of perspectives. How do you or would you learn from and contribute to diverse, collaborative communities? (200 words or fewer)

5. Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words or fewer)

Cornell University

Cornell University Essay Prompt

Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person…any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College. (650 words max)

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College Essay Prompt

Please respond in 100 words or fewer:

While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, sir,…a small college, and yet there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2026, what aspects of the College’s program, community, or campus environment attract your interest?

Choose one of the following prompts and respond in 250-300 words:

      1. The Hawaiian word mo’olelo is often translated as “story” but it can also refer to history, legend, genealogy, and tradition. Use one of these translations to introduce yourself.
      2. What excites you?
      3. In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba, Class of 2014, reflects on constructing a windmill from recycled materials to power the electrical appliances in his family’s Malawian house: “If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” What drives you to create and what do you hope to make or have you already made?
      4. Curiosity is a guiding element of Toni Morrison’s talent as a writer. “I feel totally curious and alive and in control. And almost…magnificent, when I write,” she says. Celebrate your curiosity.
      5. “Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away,” observed Frida Kahlo. Apply Kahlo’s perspective to your own life.
      6. In the aftermath of World War II, Dartmouth President John Sloane Dickey, Class of 1929, proclaimed, “The world’s troubles are your troubles … and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.” Which of the world’s “troubles” inspires you to act? How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it?
Duke University

Duke University Essay Prompt

      • The following question is required for all 2021-22 applicants to Duke University:
        • Please share with us why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something in particular about Duke’s academic or other offerings that attract you? (200 words maximum)
      • The following questions are optional for all 2021-22 applicants to Duke University:
        • Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had that would help us understand you better, perhaps a community you belong to or your family or cultural background, we encourage you to do so here. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 words maximum)
        • Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you would like to share with us more about your identity in these areas, you can do so here, or use any previous essay prompt you feel is appropriate. (250 words maximum)
Elon University

Elon University Essay Prompt

      1. ​​What brings you joy? (30 words max)
      2. We’re in your hometown. Where should we eat and what should we order? (30 words max)
      3. Name three songs from your perfect playlist. (30 words max)
      4. As you look into the future, what gives you hope? (200-250 Word Limit)
Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College Essay Prompt
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (500 words max)

Emory University

Emory University Essay Prompt

On your application to Emory University, you’ll be asked to answer two short answer questions (SAQ’s) in addition to your Personal Statement. We encourage you to use these sections of your application to tell us more about who you are as a person.

2021-2022 Application Questions
Short Answer Questions:
Academic Interests (Required. 200 words max)
• What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college?

Getting to Know You (Choose 1. Required. 150 words max)
• Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
• When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
• If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?
• Share about a time when you were awestruck.
• Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

Georgetown University

Georgetown University Essay Prompt

Please indicate any special talents or skills that you possess.

Short Essay

1. Briefly (approximately one-half page, single-spaced) discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.

Long Essays

Compose two essays (approximately one page, single-spaced each) on the topics given below.

Essay 1 – All Applicants:

As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.

Essay 2 – Applicants to Georgetown College:

What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study).

Essay 2- Applicants to the School of Nursing and Health Studies:

Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, Global Health, or Nursing).

Essay 2- Applicants to the Walsh School of Foreign Service:

The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?

Essay 2- Applicants to the McDonough School of Business:

The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Essay Prompt

Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech? (max 300 words)

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University Essay Prompt

Please choose one of the following questions to the answer below (In 5-10 sentences):

      • Please share an experience that made you feel uncomfortable or challenged, and then explain how you grew from the situation.
      • Please share an experience you have had outside of the classroom that has contributed to your personal growth.

For nursing applicants only:
Gonzaga University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program is grounded in Jesuit and nursing traditions and focuses the student experience on community, reflection, servant leadership and social justice. Students learn to promote health, care for patients with acute and chronic illnesses, and to support patients and their families.

As a direct admit program, Gonzaga seeks prospective nursing students who have challenged themselves with science courses, have taken math all four years of high school, and who have an understanding of the field.

What experiences have led you to choose the field of nursing? Why do you believe nursing is a good career path for you? (In 5-10 sentences)

Harvard University

Harvard University Essay Prompt

Harvard Questions

You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. You may write on a topic of your choice, or you may choose from one of the following topics:
– Unusual circumstances in your life
– Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities
– What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
– An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you
– How you hope to use your college education
– A list of books you have read during the past twelve months
– The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
– The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission?
– Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college. If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do?
– Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.

Activities

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 words max.)

High Point University

High Point University Essay Prompt

      • Describe any special interests or hobbies that you may have. (50 Word Limit)
      • Describe any meaningful travel experiences (both national and international). (50 Word Limit)
      • Why do you want to attend High Point University? (50 Word Limit)
Indiana University

Indiana University Essay Prompt
In 200–400 words, you’ll be asked to describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, undergraduate research, academic interests, leadership opportunities, etc.) that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Also, if you encountered any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles in pursuit of your education, you may share those experiences and how you overcame them. Please note that this essay may be used for scholarship consideration.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University Essay Prompt

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

Lafayette College

Lafayette College Essay Prompt

Students identify Lafayette as an excellent fit for countless reasons. In your response, be deliberate and specific about your motivation for applying to Lafayette.

Why Lafayette? (20-200 words)

Lehigh University

Lehigh University Essay Prompt

      • With the understanding that some students will change colleges at Lehigh after the first year, please briefly describe why you chose to apply to the first-choice college or major that you listed above. (200-word limit)
      • How did you first learn about Lehigh University and what motivated you to apply? (150-word limit)
      • A compelling characteristic of Lehigh’s community is that our students want to be actively engaged in their learning, their community, and the world. Our students look to make a difference and have a real-world impact. We expect our community to challenge your viewpoint, your naturalized assumptions, and the way that you see the world around you. Lehigh University is committed to being an anti-racist institution. By this, we mean actively speaking out and addressing acts of racism, racist comments, racist practices, policies, and procedures. What would you want to be different in your own country or community to respond to issues of inequality, inequity, or injustice? (300-word limit)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Essay Prompt

For the 2021–2022 application, we’re asking these short answer essay questions:

      • Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (250 words or fewer)
      • Pick what field of study at MIT appeals to you the most right now, and tell us more about why this field of study appeals to you. (100 words or fewer)
      • We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (200–250 words)
      • At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200–250 words)
      • Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
New York University

New York University Essay Prompt

      • We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand – Why NYU? (400 words max)
North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

      • Explain why you selected the academic program(s) above and why you are interested in studying these at NC State. (250 words)
      • Discuss any other obstacles and/or hardships that you have encountered that have affected you personally or academically and how you dealt with them. (250 words)
      • NC State University is committed to building a just and inclusive community, one that does not tolerate unjust or inhumane treatment, and that denounces it, clearly and loudly. Please describe what those words mean to you and how you will contribute to a more diverse and inclusive NC State environment. (250 words)
Northwestern University

Northwestern University Essay Prompt

”Why Northwestern” Statement :

While other parts of your application give us a sense of who you are, we are also excited to hear more about how you see yourself engaging with the larger Northwestern community.

In 300 words or less, help us understand how you might engage specific resources, opportunities, and/or communities here. We are curious about what these specifics are, as well as how they may enrich your time at Northwestern and beyond.

Do you plan to complete the ”Why Northwestern” Statement?
(We strongly encourage a response, as your answer will help us connect the dots across your application to imagine what kind of college student you might become.)

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University Essay Prompt

Please tell us something about yourself, your experiences, or activities that you believe would reflect positively on your ability to succeed at Penn State. This is your opportunity to tell us something about yourself that is not already reflected in your application or academic records. We suggest a limit of 500 words or fewer.

Pomona College

Pomona College Essay Prompt

Pomona Supplemental Essays (Required)
Essay 1 – Pomona is committed to achieving the benefits of diversity for all students by creating a community that learns and grows together through the exchange of different lived experiences and perspectives. Our community is made up of students from diverse cultures, races, ethnicities, and linguistic backgrounds; political, religious and social views; physical abilities; home environments and socioeconomic backgrounds; hometowns and regions; and sexes, gender identities and sexual orientations.
Both of the following prompts address this topic, and we ask you to respond to one of them. We give no preference, so choose the prompt that resonates the most with you.

Choose one of the following two prompts:
Option 1: We believe that everyone has something to contribute and receive from a diverse community. Why is belonging to a diverse and inclusive college community important to you? (200 words or fewer)

Option 2: Advancing diversity and inclusion (D&I) can be hard work and a continuous learning process. Tell us about how you have either recently championed D&I or how you plan to maintain a deep commitment to D&I in college.(200 words or fewer)

Essay 2 – According to our Board of Trustees, “Institutions such as Pomona College should prepare their graduates to lead lives of creative leadership and exemplary service.” How do you hope to use the knowledge you will gain in college to impact something greater than yourself, such as your family, neighborhood, community, city or society? (200 words or fewer)
Short Response Questions (Optional)
If there are aspects of your identity that you feel are not captured elsewhere in this application, please provide that information below. (50 words or less)
– Before jumping into the required essays, you have the option to show us a little more of your personality. You can answer one, two, three or none of the following questions. (1-50 words each)
– Marvel or DC? Pepsi or Coke? Instagram or TikTok? What’s your favorite “this or that” (you are not restricted to these three examples), and which side do you choose?
– What’s your favorite way to eat a potato?
– You’re relaxing on a Friday night. Suddenly, your favorite song pops into your head. What is it?
Princeton University

Princeton University Essay Prompt

– As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (Please respond in about 250 words)

– Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. (Please respond in about 150 words)

– At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future? (350 words max)

– Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals. (350 words max)

Providence College

Providence College Essay Prompt
Choose 1. (500 words max)

      1. As a liberal arts school, Provide College provides students with the opportunity to explore several different academic areas. While you may not be ready to declare a major, what have you experienced, inside or outside of the classroom, that has led you to an interest in a particular field of study?
      2. Dialogue, Inclusion and Democracy is a program on campus whose mission is to create a safe space that supports the development of well-informed and engaged students through civil discourse. There are several spaces on campus where students, faculty and staff can pose questions to the PC community and dialogue forms from there. One of the questions posted recently was “Name a time where you’ve felt empowered or represented by an educator.” What question would you like to post to the PC community and why?
      3. If you could have a theme song, what would it be and why?
Purdue University

Purdue University Essay Prompt

      1. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words max)
      2. How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)
      3. Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)
      4. Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)
Rice University

Rice University Essay Prompt

      • Please explain why you wish to study in the academic areas you selected. 150 word limit.
      • Based upon your exploration of Rice University, what elements of the Rice experience appeal to you? 150 word limit.
      • Rice is lauded for creating a collaborative atmosphere that enhances the quality of life for all members of our campus community. The Residential College System and undergraduate life is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural tradition each student brings. What life perspectives would you contribute to the Rice community? 500 word limit.
      • One of Rice’s long-standing traditions is “The Box,” a question on our application where we ask all of our applicants to share an image of something that appeals to them. The Box gives you the opportunity to present us with an image that shares something about yourself, your interests or what is meaningful to you. This image is not used for evaluative purposes in the application, but allows you to put your stamp on the application about who you are aside from what you have achieved. Be sure to choose an image that speaks for itself and does not need an explanation. The Box must be a two-dimensional image that is uploaded in the Common Application or the Coalition Application, or uploaded in the Rice Admission Student Portal.
Rollins College

Rollins College Essay Prompt
Please briefly elaborate on your community service or one of your extracurricular activities. (250 words max)

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Essay Prompt

SMU appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Briefly describe why you are interested in attending SMU and what specific factors have led you to apply. (250-word limit)

SMU is a diverse learning environment shaped by the convergence of ideas and cultures. How will your unique experiences or background enhance the University, and how will you benefit from this community? (250-word limit)

Stanford University

Stanford University Essay Prompt

Stanford Short Essays
– The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (250 words max.)

– Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better. (250 words max.)

– Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (250 words max.)
Stanford Short Answers – 50 words each:

– What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?

– How did you spend your last two summers?

– What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

– Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.

– Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.

Stetson University

Stetson University Essay Prompt

      1. We are excited that you have selected Stetson. What interests you most about Stetson? (500 words max)
      2. Choose 1.
        • Submit a graded writing sample
        • If you could live your life fighting for one cause, what would it be and why?
        • Describe a time you did not meet expectations and what impact the experience had on you.
        • What gives meaning to your life?
        • If you wrote a letter to yourself to be opened in 20 years, what would it say?
        • Discuss an issue of state, national, or global concern to you.
        • Why write?
Stonehill College

Stonehill College Essay Prompt

Students have many choices in their college search and application process. Please share why you have chosen to consider Stonehill among your possible college options. (250 word maximum)

Syracuse University

Syracuse University Essay Prompt
Why are you interested in Syracuse University and how do you see yourself contributing to a diverse, inclusive, accessible and respectful campus? (250 words max)

The George Washington University

The George Washington University Essay Prompt

(Optional) Every applicant can choose from one of the following two essay prompts to submit.

Essay Prompt 1
At the George Washington University, our students frequently interact with policymakers and world leaders. These experiences and those of our alumni can shape the future of global affairs. If you had the power to change the course of history in your community or the world, what would you do and why?

Essay Prompt 2
The George Washington University encourages students to think critically and to challenge the status quo. Thus, civil discourse is a key characteristic of our community. Describe a time when you engaged others in meaningful dialogue around an issue that was important to you. Did this exchange create change, new perspectives, or deeper relationships?

Tufts University

Tufts University Essay Prompt

There are two required short-answer questions, which vary depending on the program to which you are applying (read carefully below).

Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too.

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” (100-150 words)

2. Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words):

A) It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

B) How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

C) Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)

2. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words)

Tulane University

Tulane University Essay Prompt
– Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional). (Max 800 words)

– Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. If you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here (optional). (Max 800 words)

– Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (optional) (250 words)

University of California

University of California Essay Prompt

Directions

      • You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
      • Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
      • Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you: But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

Keep In Mind

      • All questions are equal: All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
      • There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions: It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.
      • Use the additional comments field if there are issues you’d like to address that you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss elsewhere on the application. This shouldn’t be an essay, but rather a place to note unusual circumstances or anything that might be unclear in other parts of the application. You may use the additional comments field to note extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, if necessary.

Questions and Guidance

Remember, the personal insight questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who are you, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC.

1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.

Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?

Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.

Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?

4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few.

If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who you are today?

5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”

6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.

Things to consider: Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can’t get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, internships, employment, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or clubs — and what you have gained from your involvement.

Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?

Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place — like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?

8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

Things to consider: If there’s anything you want us to know about you, but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida Essay Prompt
Common Application Questions

– Why are you interested in UCF? (250 words max.)

– Discuss your reasons for pursuing the academic program (major) selected above. (250 words max.)

– OR-

UCF Application Questions
Choose two (2). (500 words max.)

        1. If there has been some obstacle or bump in the road in your academic or personal life, please explain the circumstances.
        2. How has your family history, culture or environment influenced who you are?
        3. Why did you choose to apply to UCF?
        4. What qualities or unique characteristics do you possess that will allow you to contribute to the UCF community?
University of Chicago

University of Chicago Essay Prompt

Question 1 (Required)

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)

Essay Option 1

What if the moon were made of cheese? Or Neptune made of soap? Pick a celestial object, reimagine its material composition, and explore the implications. Feel free to explore the realms of physics, philosophy, fantasy…the sky is the limit!
—Inspired by Tate Flicker, Class of 2025

Essay Option 2

What’s so easy about pie?
—Inspired by Arjun Kalia, Class of 2025

Essay Option 3

In Homer’s Iliad, Helen had a “face that launched a thousand ships.” A millihelen, then, measures the beauty needed to launch one ship. The Sagan unit is used to denote any large quantity (in place of “billions and billions”). A New York Minute measures the period of time between a traffic light turning green and the cab behind you honking. Invent a new unit of measurement. How is it derived? How is it used? What are its equivalents?
—Inspired by Carina Kane, Class of 2024, and Ishaan Goel, Class of 2025

Essay Option 4

“There is no such thing as a new idea” – Mark Twain. Are any pieces of art, literature, philosophy, or technology truly original, or just a different combination of old ideas? Pick something, anything (besides yourself), and explain why it is, or is not, original.
—Inspired by Haina Lu, Class of 2022

Essay Option 5

It’s said that history repeats itself. But what about other disciplines? Choose another field (chemistry, philosophy, etc.) and explain how it repeats itself. Explain how it repeats itself.
—Inspired by Ori Brian, AB’19

Essay Option 6

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry (and with the encouragement of one of our current students!) choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun!

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder Essay Prompt
Instead of a separate writing supplement, we require 2 short-answer questions in our College Questions section.

      1. Required question #1 (250 words or less) – At the University of Colorado Boulder, no two Buffs are alike. We value difference and support equity and inclusion of all students and their many intersecting identities. Pick one of your unique identities and describe its significance.
      2. Required question #2 (250 words or less) – Please share a bit more about your academic interests. What do you hope to study at CU Boulder? What has inspired your interests in this area? Or if you are undecided, what area(s) of study are you considering? Think about your prior/current coursework, extracurricular activities, work/volunteer experiences, future goals, or anything else that has shaped your interests.
University of Florida

University of Florida Essay Prompt

– Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities. If so, please describe. (250 word limit)

– Have you participated in or been assisted in your college preparation and search by programs outside of classroom, such as Educational Talent Search, Take Stock in Children, Upward Bound, Boys and Girls Club, etc.?

If yes, please provide the name of the program, details/benefits of your involvement, and how long your experiences continued. (250 word limit)

– Please provide more details on your most meaningful commitment outside of the classroom while in high school and explain why it was meaningful. This could be related to an extracurricular activity, work, volunteering, an academic activity, family responsibility, or any other non-classroom activity. (250 word limit)

– Is there any other information or extenuating circumstances the Admission Committee should know when reviewing your application? (250 word limit)

UF Honors Program

– Why is applying for the UF Honors Program important to you? Which aspects of the program’s three pillars of opportunity, community, and challenge pique your interests? How would you engage with the program to exemplify these pillars yourself? How does the program factor into your long-term goals? (max 400 words)

– Identify two topics you have previously studied that do not traditionally overlap. How do you envision you might bring these topics together during your time in Honors to engage a pressing societal, medical or technological concern? The concern you wish to engage could be of local, national or global scope, but you should be clear about the issue you want to address. For the purposes of this essay, the topics you identify need not have been formally studied in high school, but you should have studied them since beginning in high school. (max 300 words)

University of Georgia

University of Georgia Essay Prompt

The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself from your high school years that you have not already shared in your application. (200-300 words)

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Essay Prompt

Short Answers

You’ll answer two to three short-answer prompts as part of your application. The questions you’ll answer will depend on whether you’re applying to a major or to our undeclared program, and if you’ve selected a second choice. Short answers should be no more than 150 words each.

If You’re Applying to a Major:

      1. In the past 3 to 4 years, what experience(s) have you had (inside or outside of the classroom) related to your selected first-choice major or academic interest?
      2. How does your selected first-choice major relate to your future career goals?

If You’re Applying to Our Undeclared Program:

      1. What are your academic interests and strengths? You may also include any majors you are considering.
      2. What are your future academic or career goals?

If You’ve Selected a Second-Choice Major (Including Undeclared):

You have selected a second-choice major. Please explain your interest in that major or your overall academic or career goals.

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Essay Prompt

Think of a time when you were dealing with a challenge (personal, academic, work related). How did you handle that? Did you seek support and if so who did you seek support from? (Min: 250 / Max: 650)

University of Maryland

University of Maryland Essay Prompt

At the University of Maryland, we encourage our students to go beyond the classroom to engage in opportunities that further both their academic and personal growth.

To tell us more about yourself, please complete the following sentences using only the space provided (160 characters).

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to…

The most interesting fact I ever learned from research was…

In addition to my major, my academic interests include…

My favorite thing about last Tuesday was…

Something you might not know about me is…

University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst Essay Prompt

1. Please tell us why you want to attend UMass Amherst? (100 words max.)

2. Please tell us why you chose the Majors you did? (100 words max.)

University of Miami

University of Miami Essay Prompt

If applying for Spring or Fall 2022, you will be required to submit a supplemental essay of 250 words or less in response to the following prompt.

The University of Miami’s official mascot is the ibis. Folklore maintains that the native marsh bird is the last to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to emerge once the storm passes, making it an apt symbol of courage and resilience.

Considering your ability to control your own motivation and behavior, how have past experiences helped build your courage and resilience to persist in the face of academic and life challenges so that, once these storms pass, you can emerge in continued pursuit of your goals?

University of Michigan

University of Michigan Essay Prompt

1. Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Required for all applicants; 300 word limit)

2. Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (Required for all applicants; 550 word limit)

There are two components of the Ross School of Business Admissions Portfolio:

1. Business Case Discussion: Choose a current event or issue in your community and discuss the business implications.

Propose a solution that incorporates business principles or practices. The review panel will look for creativity, drawing connections, and originality. Please limit this response to approximately 500 words.

2. Artifact & Description: Upload a document or artifact that represents something significant about your life to show your learning in action.​

Describe how your artifact demonstrates your learning in action. Please limit this response to approximately 250 words.

University of North Carolina

University of North Carolina Essay Prompt
Short Answer Prompts

You’ll choose two of the following prompts to respond to in 200-250 words:

1. Describe a peer you see as a community builder. What actions has that peer taken? How has their work made a difference in your life?
2. Describe an aspect of your identity (for example, your religion, culture, race, sexual or gender identity, affinity group, etc.). How has this aspect of your identity shaped your life experiences thus far?
3. If you could change one thing to better your community, what would it be? Why is it important and how would you contribute to this change?
4. Former UNC-Chapel Hill employee, community service member, and civil rights activist Esphur Foster once said, “We are nothing without our history.” Her words are memorialized on the Northside Neighborhood Freedom Fighters monument. How does history shape who you are?

Fill-in-the-blank responses

You’ll complete all four of the following fill-in-the-blank responses in 25 words each:

1. One family tradition I cherish:
2. This I believe:
3. The quality I most admire in myself:
4. The protagonist I most identify with:

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame Essay Prompt

The University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement consists of one (1) essay response to a required question and one (1) essay responses to one of three questions you select from a list of options provided. In total, you will write two (2) essay responses. The word count is a maximum of 200 words per essay.

Required Question:

The founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau, wrote, “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” How do you hope a Notre Dame education and experience will transform your mind and heart?

Additional Prompts (You choose 1):

      • During the spring semester, Notre Dame faculty gave3-Minute Lightning Talks on exciting topics within their fields of expertise. While you don’t have a Ph.D. yet, we bet you’re developing an expertise in something. If you were giving a Lightning Talk, what topic (academic or not) would you choose?
      • There is a story or meaning behind every name or nickname—both those we’re given and those that we choose. What is meaningful to you about your name?
      • What would you fight for?
University of Oregon

University of Oregon Essay Prompt
Choose 1. (500 words max)

      1. Describe an experience with discrimination, whether it was fighting against discrimination or recognizing your contribution to discriminating against a person or group. What did you learn from the experience? In what ways will you bring those lessons to the University of Oregon?
      2. The University of Oregon values difference, and we take pride in our diverse community. Please explain how you will share your experiences, values and interests with our community. In what ways can you imagine offering your support to others?

HONORS COLLEGE: Tell us one specific story about yourself. Choose something that illustrates what you would contribute to the CHC and/or what you hope to get from your time at the CHC (650 words maximum)

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Essay Prompt

1. Considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected, how will you explore your academic and intellectual interests at the University of Pennsylvania? For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer these questions in regard to your single-degree school choice; your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essay. (300-450 words)

2. At Penn, learning and growth happen outside of the classrooms, too. How will you explore the community at Penn? Consider how this community will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape this community. (150-200 words)

University of Rochester

University of Rochester Essay Prompt

Prompt 1

The University of Rochester motto of Meliora – or “ever better” – deeply integrates critical core values into all that we do. These core values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect and accountability define not only who we are, but also who we hope to become. Please use the space below to highlight a time, creative idea or research experience when you put into action one or more of these characteristics in order to make yourself, your community or the world ever better. (200 words or less)

You may answer one of three ways:

Prompt 1 Essay Response Option: Write an analytical or creative response of 200 words or less.

Prompt 1 Creative Response Option: Upload up to three works of your own art (e.g. pictures, video, performances, literary) and use the space below to provide a brief explanation as to how the art is tied to making the world, your community, and those around you “ever better.”

Prompt 1 Research Response Option: Upload an abstract describing your own related research and use the space below to provide a brief explanation as to how the research is tied to making the world, your community and those around you “ever better.”

Prompt 2

Please select one of the following prompts to respond to in 200 words or less.

Prompt 2 Option A: American social reformer, abolitionist, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass said, “Some know the value of education by having it. I knew its value by not having it.” Explain ways in which education has directly influenced you and your ability to do good in the world. How will you use the curricular flexibility and co-curricular opportunities of the University of Rochester experience to grow and to promote positive change for yourself, your community and the world?

Prompt 2 Option B: Dr. Donna Strickland, University of Rochester alum and 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Physics said, “There’s no point in me being anything other than me.” The University of Rochester encourages each student to embrace who they are and create their own individual curricular path and experience. How will you use the opportunities here to fully be who you are? What unique perspectives will you bring to our community?

Prompt 2 Option C: The University of Rochester benefactor, entrepreneur, photography pioneer, and philanthropist George Eastman said, “What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.” Looking forward towards your college experience, what do you hope to do outside of the classroom at the University of Rochester that will enhance who you are as a person? How will specific academic and social opportunities here help you grow?

Prompt 3

Are you interested in pursuing research while enrolled at the University of Rochester? If Yes, what field/area of study are you interested in researching? (20 words)

Combined Degree Program Applicants

What relevant experiences or insight have led to your interest in this particular program? Describe how Rochester’s resources: facilities, faculty, peers and research will meet your academic and personal ambitions. Describe how you see yourself contributing to the challenging field you want to enter as a Rochester graduate. (500 words)

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee Essay Prompt

      1. Provide an example of how you’ve demonstrated leadership to make a positive impact in your community (family, work experience, school, community, service efforts, etc.) Describe the impact of your efforts and why it was meaningful to you. (650 words max)
      2. If you were having a personal interview with members of our admissions staff, what information would you want them to know about you? You can include your academic interests, achievements, involvement in school and the community, important personal experiences, obstacles you’ve overcome, and other aspects of your background. (250-800 words)
University of Texas

University of Texas Essay Prompt
Essay Topic
Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Short Answers
Required Short Answers (250-300 words each). Answer three short answer prompts:1. Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?

2. Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community, or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.

3. The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT-Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.

4. Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance, including the possible effects of COVID-19.

University of Vermont
University of Vermont Essay Prompt
Choose 1. (500 words max)

      1. Why UVM?
      2. Established in 1978 in a renovated gas station in Burlington, VT, Ben and Jerry’s is synonymous with the ice cream business. The company’s success and unique brand identity are due in part to their one-of-a-kind flavors. Which Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor (real or imagined) best describes you?
      3. Whether they are constructing a robot, a stronger sense of community or an identity, UVM students are builders. What would you like to build?
      4. At UVM, learning extends far beyond the walls of our classrooms. From student-led organizations, to internships and study abroad experiences, UVM students are encouraged to pursue knowledge in all environments. Describe a time when you’ve learned in a non-traditional setting.
      5. Communities and organizations are stronger when they value diversity of thought. How do you create meaningful connections or conversations with others when they express opinions that differ from your own?

University of Virginia Essay Prompt

1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.

      • College of Arts and Sciences – What work of art, music, science, mathematics, literature, or other media has surprised, unsettled, or inspired you, and in what way?
      • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – Describe an engineering feat that serves the common good and why it inspires you to study engineering.
      • School of Architecture – Describe significant experience that deepened your interest in studying in the School of Architecture.
      • School of Nursing – Describe a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying nursing.
      • Kinesiology Program – Discuss experiences that led you to apply to the kinesiology major.

2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

      • What’s your favorite word and why?
      • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
      • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
      • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?
      • Rita Dove, UVA English professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate, once said in an interview that “…there are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” Describe a time when, instead of complaining, you took action for the greater good.
University of Washington

University of Washington Essay Prompt

REQUIRED
1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. (500 words)

2. Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. (300 words)

OPTIONAL
You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:

– You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education

– Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations

– You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Essay Prompt

Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin- Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided please describe your areas of possible academic interest. (You may enter up to 650 words).

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University Essay Prompt

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (200-400 words)

Villanova University

Villanova University Essay Prompt

Villanova requires applicants to submit both their Common Application essay and two short Villanova Essays.

Essay #1: Villanova Free Choice (2021-22)

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 five topics below and submit a written response in about 250 words.

Prompt One:
St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities?

Prompt Two:
What is the truest thing that you know?

Prompt Three:
One of the themes in St. Augustine’s book, Confessions, is the idea of redemption. Tell us your story of being given a second chance.

Prompt Four:
In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?

Prompt Five:
Augustine’s “Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.” Tell us about a societal issue that you believe the wonder of technology is well-poised to help solve.

Essay #2: Why Nova? (2021-22)

You may be aware that our community, which we have affectionately named “Nova Nation,” is an exciting place to be. With a legacy spanning nearly 180 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 150 words.

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Essay Prompt

How did you become interested in Wake Forest University? Feel free to tell us about any contact that you had with Wake Forest that was important to you. (150 words)

      • 1a. List five books you’ve read that intrigued you.
      • 1b. Explain how a book you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity. (150 words)
      • 2. Tell us more about the topic that most engages your intellectual curiosity. (150 words)
      • 3. Give us your Top Ten list. Theme:
Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis Essay Prompt

Please tell us what you are interested in studying at WashU and why. (200 words max.)

If applying to the Beyond Boundaries Program…

Tell us what great challenge you might want to understand and tackle leveraging two or more of WashU’s schools and how you would pursue an interdisciplinary path of study that explores that challenge or an aspect of that challenge in a unique and innovative way. (200 words max.)

Wellesley College

Wellesley College Essay Prompt
When choosing a college community, you are choosing an intellectual community and a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but it’s a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 and select two items that attract, inspire, or energize you. Have fun with this and use this opportunity to reflect personally on what items appeal to you most and why. Please limit your response to the Wellesley College essay to two well-developed paragraphs (minimum 250 words, maximum 400 words). **you will upload this as a separate document**

Yale University

Yale University Essay Prompt

Short Answer Questions

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application will respond to the following short answer questions:

      • Students at Yale have time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided.
      • Why do these areas appeal to you? (125 words or fewer)
      • What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)

Applicants applying with the QuestBridge Application will complete the questions above via the Yale QuestBridge Questionnaire, available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal after an application has been received.

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will also respond to the following short answer questions, in no more than 200 characters (approximately 35 words):

      • What inspires you?
      • Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What would you ask them to discuss?
      • You are teaching a new Yale course. What is it called?
      • Yale students embrace the concept of “and” rather than “or,” pursuing arts and sciences, tradition and innovation, defined goals and surprising detours. What is an example of an “and” that you embrace?

Essays

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application: use the two short essays (250 words or fewer) below to reflect on topics and personal experiences that will help the Admissions Committee learn more about you.

1. Yale’s extensive course offerings and vibrant conversations beyond the classroom encourage students to follow their developing intellectual interests wherever they lead. Tell us about your engagement with a topic or idea that excites you. Why are you drawn to it?

2. Respond to one of the following prompts:

      • 2A. Reflect on a community to which you feel connected. Why is it meaningful to you? You may define community however you like.
      • 2B. Reflect on something that has given you great satisfaction. Why has it been important to you?

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application: In addition to responding to the prompts above, upload an audio file, video, image, or document you have created. The upload should complement your response to one of the prompts. Above your response, include a one-sentence description of your upload. Please limit uploads to the following file types: mp3, mov, jpeg, word, pdf. Advanced editing is not necessary. Uploads provided via the Coalition Application will be reviewed by the Admissions Office only. Review the Supplementary Material instructions for material that may be evaluated by Yale faculty.

Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University Essay Prompt

For Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 Applicants: Please respond to the following prompt in 500-750 words:
Essay Option 1: What lessons have you learned from high school that you have applied in your life? How have these lessons further defined your values and character?

Essay Option 2: Character, values, leadership, and potential: these are characteristics that we are looking for at YU. Please provide examples from your life, your experiences, or your aspirations and how they will be further defined, enhanced, or developed at YU.

Essay Option 3: As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to reflect on the past while focusing on hope, happiness and ways to express Hakarat Hatov (gratitude). Please highlight an example where you, your family members or friends have exemplified Hakarat Hatov and the impact it has had on you on a personal level and/or within your community, whether COVID related or not.

Other: What are your career goals/interests?

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