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Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay

Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay

❶That's why we design our courses to be efficient, targeted and strategic so you make the most of every minute you spend prepping. Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application are also asked to respond to the following short answer questions:.

2018-19 Common App Essays

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Short Answer Questions
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Dorothy is swept up in the tornado. Neo takes the red pill. Rather, tell us about its portal. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function, but have been retained during the process of evolution.

In humans, for instance, the appendix is thought to be a vestigial structure. Describe something vestigial real or imagined and provide an explanation for its existence. All of these require explanation in order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees, untranslatable.

Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot or should not be translated from its original language. Little pigs, French hens, a family of bears. Blind mice, musketeers, the Fates. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together. The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Human eyes have color receptors for three colors red, green, and blue ; the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain.

Seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp: What are we missing? How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared? Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy. Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Dorothy and the Wicked Witch. History and art are full of heroes and their enemies. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis either real or imagined.

Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty. Choose two other concepts that cannot be known simultaneously and discuss the implications. Do not consider yourself limited to the field of physics. The Aesthetics of Silence, Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc.

Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. How did you get caught? Or not caught, as the case may be. Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical.

Mitchell entitled his book What Do Pictures Want? Describe a picture, and explore what it wants. Destroy a question with your answer. Superstring theory has revolutionized speculation about the physical world by suggesting that strings play a pivotal role in the universe. Use the power of string to explain the biggest or the smallest phenomenon. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. How would that curriculum support your interests?

What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC? In the Northwestern Writing Supplement, we ask students to explain why they would like to attend Northwestern. This question is intentionally open-ended. We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. If you have applied to more than one, please tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have applied.

How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Students applying to Digital Media Design and Computer and Cognitive Science should address both the specialized program and single-degree choice in their response. For students applying to the other coordinated dual-degree and specialized programs, please answer this question in regards to your single-degree school choice; Your interest in the coordinated dual-degree or specialized program may be addressed through the program-specific essays.

The University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement consists of one 1 essay response to a required question and two 2 essay responses to questions you select from the options provided. In total, you will write three 3 essay responses.

The recommended word count is approximately words per essay. As a Catholic university, we strive to be a community in which the dignity of each person is respected and everyone can truly flourish.

Either we walk together in mutual support, or we do not walk at all. Either we are all Notre Dame, or none of us are. Please note that Pomona College does not specify a word limit for supplemental essays, although on past applications, they have recommended an essay ranging from words. In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about words no more than words and no fewer than words. Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world.

Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers or vacations between school years , including any jobs you have held. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences max How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?

Respond in words or fewer. Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. 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 is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspectives would you contribute to life at Rice? For , please choose one of the following essay prompts: What solutions or outcomes do you hope to see?

Describe one of them and how Richmond might prepare you for it. To what year would you travel and why? Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. 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.

Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. What pressing world problem or local issue would you like to change, and what steps would you take to change it? What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, neighborhood or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.

If you could have any career, what would it be? This is an opportunity to describe your academic and future professional interests. How have your interests and experiences influenced your choice of majors or your plans to explore in college?

Do you believe your academic record transcript information and test scores provide an accurate representation of you as a student? Why or why not? Feel free to address anything you want the Office of Admissions to know about your academic record so that we can consider this information when we review your application. Leadership can be demonstrated by positions you hold as an officer in a club or organization, but other types of leadership are important too.

Leaders can emerge in various situations at any given time, including outside of the school experience. Please share a brief description of the type of leadership qualities you possess, from school and non-school related experiences, including demonstrations of leadership in your job, your community, or within your family responsibilities, and then share how you hope to demonstrate leadership as a member of our campus community.

At UT Austin, we value, embrace, and encourage a wide range of diverse experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and talents.

This diversity strengthens our university and supports an open and supportive educational environment in which ideas are freely exchanged alongside thoughtful consideration of our differences. As you consider attending our University that values a learning environment enhanced by the diverse contributions, perspectives, and experiences of our students, please share how you believe you might contribute to our community of scholars. Personal interaction with objects, images and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics.

What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area? Discuss the reasons you chose social work as your first-choice major and how a social work degree from UT Austin will prepare you for the future.

Please answer one of the following questions — we encourage you to think outside the box. Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. Your response must be between — words. What have you invented, engineered, produced or designed?

Or what do you hope to? Our Experimental College encourages current students to develop and teach a class for the Tufts community. Previous classes have included those based on personal interests, current events and more. What would you teach and why? Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly words. Tell us about a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing. Tell us about your academic and personal achievements.

This essay is an important part of your application as it provides us with an opportunity to gain more insights into your candidacy. We believe that all members of our community should be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. How would you contribute to this at Villanova? Saint Augustine believed in the essential connection between the mind and the heart.

Tell us about a time that your mind and heart were in conflict and how that was resolved. While this phrase may mean many different things, one aspect is that Villanovans rely on each other. Share a situation when you have needed help and what you have taken away from this experience. All applicants to Yale are asked to respond to a few Yale-specific short answer questions.

Those applying with the Coalition Application are asked to upload a digital file of their creation along with a short reflection. Those applying with the Common Application are asked to respond to two short essay prompts. See additional details below. If you would like to begin working on your short answer responses and essays before beginning your application, please see the Yale-specific questions for the Coalition Application, Common Application, and QuestBridge Application below.

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application are asked to respond to the following short answer questions:. Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application are also asked to respond to the following short answer questions:. Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will select from the following topics:.

Applicants submitting the Common Application: Please choose two of the topics above and respond to each in words or fewer. Applicants submitting the Coalition Application: Please choose one of the topics above and respond in words or fewer. In addition to writing on your chosen topic, upload an audio file, video, image, or document you have created that is meaningful to you and relates to your essay. Above your essay, include a one-sentence description of what you have submitted.

Please limit your upload to the following file types: While we are not providing limits to the length of the material you upload, the Admissions Office may not have time to review the entirety of your submission.

Sometimes, less is more. Please respond in words or fewer. 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? It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. 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.

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

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. How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?

What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend assuming they would listen to you? Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Babson College Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences max Your moment has arrived. Share with us the moments or experiences that have led you to apply to Babson College 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. Boston College words Choose one Great art evokes a sense of wonder.

It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration? When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories.

Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues.

If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why? Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation.

What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?

Boston University What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 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 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: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: Describe how you express your creative side.

What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. 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? What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? 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?

Knowing this, what do you hope to explore, innovate, or create with your Caltech peers? Your response should range between words. Caltech students are often known for their sense of humor and creative pranks. What do you like to do for fun? The process of discovery best advances when people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. Given the students, faculty, staff and resources that have been available to you as a student, how have you collaborated with others, in or out of the classroom?

Or, what lessons have you learned from working with others in the past, that might shape your experience in the future? University of Colorado Boulder As a vibrant community of learners dedicated to inclusive excellence, the students, faculty and staff at the University of Colorado Boulder seek to be open and respectful of contrasting beliefs and opinions.

Columbia List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. Respond in words or less: While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U. Supreme Court in , Daniel Webster, Class of , delivered this memorable line: And yet, there are those who love it!

Choose one of the following prompts and respond in words: Use one of these translations to introduce yourself. How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it? 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.

Here are some tips when writing your essay: If you could create a new course that all Elon students are required to take, what is the title, what is the focus and why does it interest you? The community faced this adversity rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, which is now our mascot. Describe a time when you rose from hardship and demonstrated resilience.

Four years later at Commencement, every graduate receives an oak sapling symbolizing their growth and transformation. How do you hope to grow and transform during your time at Elon? Emory University In addition to your Personal Statement, please choose two 2 of the short answer prompts below.

What is your favorite fiction or non-fiction work film, book, TV show, album, poem, or play? What motivates you to learn? What do you want to bring from your community to the Emory University community?

In the age of social media, what does engaging with integrity look like for you? Georgetown 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. Essay Requirement Compose two brief essays approximately one page, single-spaced each on the topics given below.

Essay One — All Applicants: Essay Two- Applicants to Georgetown College: Essay 2- Applicants to Nursing and Health Studies: George Washington University Every applicant must choose from one of the following two essay prompts to submit.

We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family? And how have you seen evidence of your impact on them? Georgia Tech is always looking for innovative undergraduates. Have you had any experience as an entrepreneur? What would you like Georgia Tech to provide to further your entrepreneurial interests?

In our application review, we want to get to know you better. One way to do that is to understand a typical day for you. Please describe your typical day. University of Georgia We require one short essay that all applicants must complete, and four additional short essay topics with the applicant selecting to respond to one of these. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already shared in your application.

Choose one of the following four: Creativity is found in many forms including artistic avenues, intellectual pursuits, social interactions, innovative solutions, et cetera.

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

Describe a problem, possibly related to your area of study, which you would like to solve. Explain its importance to you and what actions you would take to solve this issue. Hampshire The following questions get at some of our core values: What does it mean to you? Think about two or more topics that interest you. Tell us about some issues or questions related to these topics.

Describe a time when you received feedback, academic or otherwise, that changed your thinking or behavior for the better. Harvard University Essay 1: 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. Johns Hopkins University Write a brief essay words in which you respond to the following question. Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors.

Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience. Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

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The Common Application has announced that the personal essay writing prompts will be the same as the seven essay prompts. By conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as applicants, parents, and counselors, about the effectiveness of the essay prompts.

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From Common App prompts to supplementary essays, we break down the most common application essay topics. Boost your college essay to the top of the pile!

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The Common Application Essay Prompts Are Here February 15, | Kate Sundquist in Applying to College, Common App Need help on your college applications? For the application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the cycle. With the inclusion of the "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office. The current prompts.

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The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors. Need help with the Common App Essay prompts and questions? College Essay Advisors' founder Stacey Brook breaks down all you need to know about this year’s prompts. Common Application Essay Prompts: A Guide. it will pay off in the long run.) We are as sure as ever that every single one of you has a valuable story (or.