Thursday, April 18, 2013

College Essays

The Sunday NY Times had a piece about college application essays.  Here are the prompts from the Common Application:

  1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it.  If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  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 place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Boston College also asks to candidates to write a 400-word essay: "Tell us about a time you had all of the facts but missed the meaning."

Skidmore College used to ask about "an example of an instance when you feel creative thought really did matter" although they've dropped their extra writing requirement in hopes of an increase in applications.

U.Va's prompts include describing a work of art, music, science, mathematics or literature that "surprised, unsettled or challenged" you; and discussing "something you secretly like but pretend not to, or vice versa."

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