2016 Essay Prompts

2016 Essay Prompts for the Following Schools are Listed Below:

Common Application, Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Southern California,  University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, Emory University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, Amherst College, Wake Forest University, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University,  Boston College, Rice University,  Wellesley College, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, University of Colorado – Boulder, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of Richmond, University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida.

Common Application Essay Prompts for 2016:

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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. 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.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

University College Application Essay Prompt for 2016:

Please write an essay (500 words or fewer) that demonstrates your ability to develop and communicate your thoughts. Some ideas include: a person you admire; a life-changing experience; or your viewpoint on a particular current event.

Harvard University Writing Supplement for 2016:

You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel 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 or living experiences in other countries
  • A list of books you have read during the past twelve months
  • How you hope to use your college education
  • 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
  • What you would want your future college roommate to know about you

Yale University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Yale’s essay question is required for all freshman applicants:

  • Please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything—from personal experiences or goals to interests or intellectual pursuits. (Please answer in 500 words or fewer).We encourage you to visit http://admissions.yale.edu/essay, where you will find helpful advice.

Optional essay for prospective engineering majors:

  • If you selected one of the computer science or engineering majors, please tell us more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in computer science or engineering, and what it is about Yale’s program in this area that appeals to you.

Princeton University Writing Supplement for 2016:

In addition to the essay you have written for the Universal College Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no less than 250 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 Universal College Application.

  1. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.
  1. “One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions.” Omar Wasow, assistant professor of politics, Princeton University; founder of Blackplanet.com. This quote is taken from Professor Wasow’s January 2014 speech at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Princeton University.
  1. “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded for the University’s 250th anniversary to “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.” Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton’s president from 1902–1910.
  1. “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, chair of the Council of the Humanities and director of the Program in Humanistic Studies, Princeton University.
  1. Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.

Dartmouth College Writing Supplement for 2016:

Within the Common Application, Dartmouth’s writing supplement requires that applicants write a brief response to one of the following supplemental essay prompts. Candidates choose one topic and respond. (A paragraph to a page in length is ideal.) Here are the short essay questions for applicants wanting to enroll in the fall of 2015.

  • Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name—any name: first, middle, last, nickname—and its origin.
  • Tell us about an intellectual experience, either directly related to your schoolwork or not, that you found particularly meaningful.
  • When you meet someone for the first time, what do you want them to know about you, but generally don’t tell them?
  • Describe the influence your hero has had on your life.
  • We believe it is critical that your candidacy reflect the interests, experiences and pursuits that are most important to you. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know?

University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement for 2016:

Please provide a response between 150 and 200 words to the following question (required).

  • What excites you about attending Notre Dame?

Please select two of the following five prompts and provide a response between 150 and 200 words to each.

  • Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, served as a trusted adviser to U.S. presidents and popes. A champion for human rights, Fr. Hesburgh was one of the architects of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Reflect on the current state of civil rights, the progress that has been made, or the problems still being faced today.
  • What question fascinates you? Tell us why.
  • What’s broken, and how would you fix it?
  • Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, described education as “the art of helping young people to completeness.” How are you incomplete?
  • Identify a recent Facebook post, Tweet, text, Instagram photo, Snap, blog post, or WeChat post of yours. What does it reveal about you and your digital footprint?

University of Chicago Writing Supplement for 2016:

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 (Optional):

Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.

Extended Essay Questions:

(Required; Choose one)

Essay Option 1.

Orange is the new black, fifty’s the new thirty, comedy is the new rock ‘n’ roll, ____ is the new ____. What’s in, what’s out, and why is it being replaced?

Essay Option 2.

“I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.” –Maxine Hong Kingston. What paradoxes do you live with?

Essay Option 3.

Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story.

 Essay Option 4.

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” –Paul Gauguin. What is your “art”? Is it plagiarism or revolution?

Essay Option 5.

Rerhceseras say it’s siltl plisbsoe to raed txet wtih olny the frist and lsat ltteres in palce. This is beaucse the hamun mnid can fnid oderr in dorsdier. Give us your best example of finding order in disorder. (For your reader’s sake, please use full sentences with conventional spelling).

Essay Option 6.

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose a question of your own. If your prompt is original and thoughtful, then you should have little trouble writing a great essay. 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.

Essay Option 7.

In the spirit of historically adventurous inquiry, to celebrate the University of Chicago’s 125th anniversary, please feel free to select from any of our past essay questions.

Johns Hopkins University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Applicants to Hopkins are asked to answer our supplemental essay question. Here is this year’s question:

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests—academic or extracurricular pursuits, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.—and how you will build upon them here.

Tufts University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Short Responses (Required of all Applicants)

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.

  1. Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (50–100 words)
  1. There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today. (200–250 words)
  1. Now we’d like to know a little bit more about you.  Please respond to one of the following six questions (200-250 words):A) Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—the first elected female head of state in Africa and winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize—has lived a life of achievement. “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough,” she once said.  As you apply to college, what are your dreams?

    (B) What makes you happy? (C) Science and society are filled with rules, theories, and laws such as the First Amendment, PV=nRT, Occam’s Razor, and The Law of Diminishing Returns. In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. A green light on a roadway means “go.” Pick any law and explain its significance to you. (D) It’s cool to be smart. Tell us about the subjects or ideas that excite your intellectual curiosity. (E) Nelson Mandela believed that “what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived.  It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Describe a way in which you have made or hope to make a difference. (F) Celebrate the role of sports in your life.

Columbia University Writing Supplement for 2016:

The 2015-2016 Columbia Writing Supplement is available through the Common Application. You are welcome to familiarize yourself with the Columbia-specific questions:

In 150 words or fewer, please briefly describe which single activity listed in the Activity section of your application are you most proud of and why.

Please list the following (150 words or fewer for each question):

  • the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year;
  • the titles of books read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year;
  • the titles of print or electronic publications you read regularly;
  • and the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year.

It is not necessary to italicize or underline books or other publications. Author names may be included, but are not required. You may use semicolons or colons instead of line breaks to separate items. Lists to not need to be numbered or in any specific order.

Please answer the following short answer questions (300 words or fewer for each question):

  • Tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why.
  • If you are applying to Columbia College, tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time.
  • If you are applying to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section.

Cornell University Writing Supplement for 2016:

The primary focus of your college interest essay should be what you intend to study at Cornell. On the online Common Application Writing Supplement, please respond to the essay question below (maximum of 500 words) that corresponds to the undergraduate college or school to which you are applying.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: How have your interests and related experiences influenced the major you have selected in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences?

College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: Why are you excited to pursue your chosen major in AAP? What specifically about AAP and Cornell University will help you fulfill your academic and creative interests and long-term goals?

College of Arts and Sciences: Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests?

College of Engineering: Tell us about an engineering idea you have, or about your interest in engineering. Describe how your ideas and interests may be realized by—and linked to—specific resources within the College of Engineering. Finally, explain what a Cornell Engineering education will enable you to accomplish.

School of Hotel Administration: The global hospitality industry includes hotel and foodservice management, real estate, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, and law. Describe what has influenced your decision to make the business of hospitality your academic focus. What personal qualities make you a good fit for SHA?

College of Human Ecology: How have your experiences influenced you to consider the College of Human Ecology and how will your choice of major(s) impact your goals and plans for the future?

School of Industrial and Labor Relations: Tell us about your intellectual interests, how they sprung from your course, service, work or life experiences, and what makes them exciting to you. Describe how ILR is the right school for you to pursue these interests.

Brown University Writing Supplement for 2016:

1. Brown students choose a degree and concentration (major) by the end of their 2nd (sophomore) year. We are not asking you to make a final decision now, but take a look at Brown degrees and fields of concentration shown in the Guide for Applying to Brown, and tell us which two areas of study seem most attractive to you currently. (We know that with about a hundred choices it may be difficult to select just two, but give it a try.)

2. Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated? (50 words or fewer)

3. A distinctive feature of the Brown Curriculum is the opportunity to be the “architect of your education.” Why does this academic environment appeal to you? (100 words or fewer)

4. Tell us where you have lived—and for how long—since you were born; whether you’ve always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (50 words or fewer)

5. Complete ONE of the following thoughts (25 words or fewer):

A. If I could do something with no risk of failing, I would________ or

B. I felt like I truly belonged when________

6. What is something you created that makes you especially proud, and why? (100 words or fewer)

7. We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (150 words or fewer)

8. Please respond to one of the following questions: A, B, or C. (300 words or fewer)

A. Why are you going to college?

B. Sculptor Jacques Lipchitz once said, “Cubism is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different. It is a point of view.” With this in mind, describe a moment when your perspective changed.

C. What question could we ask to gain the most insight into you? What is your answer?

University of Pennsylvania Writing Supplement for 2016:

How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania?  Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying.

The essay should be between 400-650 words.

Georgetown University Essay Prompts for 2016:

Question #1
Required for all applicants
Indicate any special talents or skills that you possess.
No limit provided

Question #2
Required for all applicants
In the space available discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.
No limit provided

Question #3
Required for 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. (Approximately 1 page)

Question #4
Required for all applicants (based on particular school)

APPLICANTS TO GEORGETOWN COLLEGE: Please relate your interest in studying at Georgetown University to your goals. How do these thoughts relate to your chosen course of study? (If you are applying to major in the FLL or in a Science, please specifically address those interests.)

APPLICANTS TO THE SCHOOL OF NURSING & 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, International Health, or Nursing).

APPLICANTS TO THE WALSH SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE: Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.

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. (Approximately 1 page)

New York University (NYU) Writing Supplement for 2016:

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU.

We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have 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 tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have applied. You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU’s global network; regardless, we want to understand – Why NYU? (400 word maximum)

University of Southern California (USC) Writing Supplement for 2016:

USC students are known to be involved. Briefly describe a non-academic pursuit (such as service to community or family, a club or sport, or work, etc.,) that best illustrates who you are, and why it is important to you. (250 word limit)

Describe your academic interests and how you plan to pursue them at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections (250 word limit).

University of California Berkeley Essay Prompts for 2016:

Please respond to the two (2) questions below in less than 1,000 words with a suggested minimum of 250 words per essay.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

University of California Los Angeles Essay Prompts for 2016:

Please respond to the two (2) questions below in less than 1,000 words with a suggested minimum of 250 words per essay.

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Emory University Writing Supplement for 2016:

In addition to the Common Application’s Personal Statement, please choose one (1) of the essays below (500 word limit). This supplemental essay should give us insight on your character as well as your potential fit with Emory University. Please consider your essay thoughtfully, as our Admission Committee and Faculty have special interest in this portion of your application.

Essay Option 1
Last August, Susan Grant, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare, said this of Emory’s choice to treat patients with Ebola: “We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion. We can fear, or we can care.” Consider her idea of doing what is in the public interest despite potential cost. Please discuss an example in your life or the life of another that’s come to your attention. (500 word limit)

Essay Option 2
In the interest of courageous inquiry, what question do you want to help answer and why? (500 word limit)

Stanford University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Briefly respond to the following inquiries so we can get to know you better. Do not feel compelled to use complete sentences.

1. Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists. (50 word limit)

2. What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy? (50 word limit)

3. What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50 word limit)

4. How did you spend your last two summers? (50 word limit)

5. What were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, competitions, conferences, etc.) in recent years? (50 word limit)

6. What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit)

7. What five words best describe you?

8. Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit)

9. 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 — know you better. (250 word limit)

10. What matters to you, and why? (100 to 250 words)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Essay Prompts for 2016:

Rather than asking you to write one long essay, the MIT application consists of several short response questions and essays designed to help us get to know you. Remember that this is not a writing test. These are the places in the application where we look for your voice – who you are, what drives you, what’s important to you, what makes you tick. Be honest, be open, be authentic – this is your opportunity to connect with us.

Duke University Writing Supplement for 2016:

  • Engineering: If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering as either a first-year or transfer applicant, please discuss why you want to study engineering and why you would like to study at Duke. (No more than 150 words.)
  • Arts & Sciences: If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences as either a first-year or transfer applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (No more than 150 words.)Optional Essays for All Applicants:
    • 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 to help us understand you better—perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background—we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.
    • Duke will learn about your extracurricular involvement through the Activities section of the Common or Universal College Application. If you wish to include a brief resume you may include it here.

Amherst College Writing Supplement for 2016:

To satisfy Amherst’s supplementary writing requirement for the first-year application, you may choose either Option A or Option B, described below.  Please note that these descriptions are provided for convenience of preview only; your actual writing supplement should be submitted through the Common Application online system (unless you are submitting the QuestBridge application only, in which case you will be directed to mail your supplement to our office).

Option A   Respond to one of the following quotations in an essay of not more than 300 words.  It is not necessary to research, read, or refer to the texts from which these quotations are taken; we are looking for original, personal responses to these short excerpts.  Remember that your essay should be personal in nature and not simply an argumentative essay.

“Rigorous reasoning is crucial in mathematics, and insight plays an important secondary role these days. In the natural sciences, I would say that the order of these two virtues is reversed. Rigor is, of course, very important. But the most important value is insight—insight into the workings of the world. It may be because there is another guarantor of correctness in the sciences, namely, the empirical evidence from observation and experiments.”  Kannan Jagannathan, Professor of Physics, Amherst College

“Literature is the best way to overcome death. My father, as I said, is an actor. He’s the happiest man on earth when he’s performing, but when the show is over, he’s sad and troubled. I wish he could live in the eternal present, because in the theater everything remains in memories and photographs. Literature, on the other hand, allows you to live in the present and to remain in the pantheon of the future. Literature is a way to say, I was here, this is what I thought, this is what I perceived. This is my signature, this is my name.” Ilán Stavans, Professor of Spanish, Amherst College.  From “The Writer in Exile: An Interview with Ilán Stavans” by Saideh Pakravan for the Fall 1993 issue of The Literary Review.

“It seems to me incumbent upon this and other schools’ graduates to recognize their responsibility to the public interest…unless the graduates of this college…are willing to put back into our society those talents, the broad sympathy, the understanding, the compassion… then obviously the presuppositions upon which our democracy are based are bound to be fallible.” John F. Kennedy, at the ground breaking for the Amherst College Frost Library, October 26, 1963

“Stereotyped beliefs have the power to become self-fulfilling prophesies for behavior.” Elizabeth Aires, Professor of Psychology, Amherst College. From her book: Men and Women In Interaction, Reconsidering the Difference.

“Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.” Attributed to William Hastie, Amherst Class of 1925, the first African-American to serve as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals

Option B

Submit a graded paper from your junior or senior year that best represents your writing skills and analytical abilities.  We are particularly interested in your ability to construct a tightly reasoned, persuasive argument that calls upon literary, sociological or historical evidence.  You should NOT submit a laboratory report, journal entry, creative writing sample or in-class essay.

Optional Research Questions

If you have engaged in significant research in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences or humanities that was undertaken independently of your high school curriculum, please provide a brief description of the research project:
(50-75 words)

Wake Forest University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Help us get to know you better by responding briefly to these questions. No need for research, just be creative and enjoy the process.

  • List five books you have read (with authors) that piqued your curiosity. Discuss an idea from one of these works that influenced you.
  • We want to know what makes you tick intellectually. A paper? A project? An academic passion? Describe it.
  • Hashtags trend worldwide. Give us a hashtag you wish were trending. #______________________________________ Why?
  • Give us your top ten list.
  • There is a nationwide dialogue about cross-cultural interactions. Like most college campuses, Wake Forest is currently in a place of conversation about what it means to engage across difference. As a country, why do you think we have reached this point?
  • What outrages you and why?

Use the following essay to give the Admissions Committee insight into your character and intellect. Watch this: http://go.wfu.edu/thisisaboutyou

  • Right now, what is uniquely you?

Northwestern University Writing Supplement for 2016:

What are the unique qualities of Northwestern – and of the specific undergraduate school(s) to which you are applying – that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified? (300 word maximum)

Vanderbilt University Writing Supplement for 2016:

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150-400 words)

Boston College Writing Supplement for 2016:

We would like to get a better sense of you. Please select one of the questions below and write an essay of 400 words or less providing your response.

  1. What contemporary issue or trend relating to politics, culture and society, or foreign policy particularly concerns you and why?
  2. Many human beings throughout history have found inspiration and joy in literature and works of art. Is there a book, play, poem, movie, painting, music selection, or photograph that has been especially meaningful for you?
  3. Contemporary higher education reflects a tension between preparing for a meaningful life and preparing for a career. What are you looking for in an undergraduate education? Which emphasis is important to you at this moment and why?
  4. “Magis”, a Latin word meaning “more,” is often cited in reference to the goals of Jesuit education, which seeks to help students become better, do more, and have as much impact on society as possible. How do you hope to achieve the Magis in your life?

Rice University Writing Supplement for 2016:

1. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit)

2. With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)

3. If you have applied or expect to apply to other colleges or universities this year, please name them. (50 word limit)

4. How did you first learn about Rice University and what motivated you to apply? (250 word limit)

Wellesley College Writing Supplement for 2016:

When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (PS: “Why” matters to us.)

University of Virginia Writing Supplement for 2016:

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, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – U.Va. engineers are working to solve problems that affect people around the world, from our long-term water purification project in South Africa to continuing to research more efficient applications of solar power. However, most students start small, by using engineering to make a difference in daily life. If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make your everyday life better, what would you do?
  • School of Architecture – Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.
  • School of Nursing – Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
  • Kinesiology Program – Discuss experiences that led you to choose 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 U.Va. culture. In her fourth year at U.Va., 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?
  • U.Va. 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 Michigan Writing Supplement for 2016:

Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words.)

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.

Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 500 words maximum.) FRESHMEN APPLICANTS

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?

Georgia Tech Writing Supplement for 2016:
  • Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? (max 150 words)
  • Georgia Tech experience and education provides you an unbound future. What will yours be? (max 150 words)
  • Georgia Tech‘s motto is Progress & Service. In 25 words or less, what is your personal motto?

Indiana University Essay Prompt for 2016:

Describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, scientific research) that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Also, share any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles you have encountered in pursuit of your education and how you overcame them. This essay may be used in scholarship consideration for student who submit a Selective Scholarship Application. Attach your brief essay (200-400 words) to your application.

University of Colorado-Boulder Essay Prompts for 2016:

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works, and service distinguishing us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership, and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live.

Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community, and what are your hopes for your college experience?
500 words maximum

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Supplement for 2016:

First-Year Applicants

You’ll submit two essays, the first of which is from the main part of the Common Application. These prompts are common to all schools who accept the Common Application and you can view the prompts here.

The second essay will be specific to the UNC application. You’ll choose one prompt and respond in an essay of 400-500 words. Here are the questions:

  1. Teen activist and 2014 Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai said, “I raise up my voice-not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard”. For whom have you raised your voice?
  2. Students learn both inside and outside the classroom. What would other members of the Carolina community learn from you?
  3. You get one do-over of any moment in your life. What would you do over, and why?
  4. You’ve been invited to give a TEDtalk. What is yours about?
  5. There are 27 amendments to the Constitution of the US. What should be the 28th?

University of Richmond Writing Supplement for 2016:

For the Richmond Question, please choose ONE of the two essay prompts: (1) From small, faculty-led classes to funded undergraduate research, the University of Richmond offers the benefits of both a liberal arts college and the opportunities and resources typically found in large research universities. Tell us how you would utilize these resources in order to reach your goals; OR (2) Tell us about Spiders.

University of Florida Essay Prompt for 2016:

Please choose one. 500 words

  1. You have been elected President of the United States. Write your inauguration speech for us.
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Describe a time when your perspective changed. How did your perspective change and why did it change?
  3. If you were offered the role of the villain or the hero in a movie, which role would you accept and why?
  4. If admitted to the University of Florida, tell us three SPECIFIC things you plan to do during your time here.

Florida State University Essay Prompt for 2016:

We firmly believe that every person is unique and of value. Our university is enriched by embracing individual differences and creating a community that is much more than the sum of its parts. In 650 words or less, share your story with us. Tell us how you came to be the person you are today, and about your passions and future expectations. Describe how you will benefit from our community and how our community will benefit from you.

University of Central Florida Essay Prompt:

We ask that you respond to two of the topics below. Your responses should be no longer than a total of 500 words or 7,000 characters.

  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?