Welcome to the homepage for all essay prompt updates for the 2019-2020 college application season! 

Scroll down for a running list of every essay update – including a description of any changes from last year. Check back regularly as we will be updating this page frequently as schools announce prompts or release their applications.

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 List of Updated Schools

Prompt collects the essay prompts for more than 1,000 schools – including prompts for majors, programs, and scholarships. Below is a list of the updated schools in Prompt's system. The updated prompts within Prompt's Essay Management Software are labeled "Current." 

 

Week of August 11

Same as last year:

  • Albright College (no essays)
  • Alfred University (no essays)
  • Anderson University (Indiana) (no essays)
  • Anna Maria College (no essays)
  • Augustana College (Illinois) (no essays)
  • Augustana University South Dakota (no essays)
  • Baylor University
  • Bellarmine University (no essays)
  • Barry University (no essays)
  • Birmingham-Southern College (no essays)
  • Bradley University (no essays)
  • Colorado State University
  • Florida Institute of Technology (no essays)
  • Florida Southern College
  • Hope College (no essays)
  • Kansas State University (no essays)
  • Lake Forest College (no essays)
  • Luther College (no essays)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • McDaniel College
  • Merrimack College (no essays)
  • Montana State University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University (no essays)
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (no essays)
  • Salisbury University (no required essays - Honors not open yet)
  • Sewanee: The University of the South (no essays)
  • SUNY Albany (no essays)
  • SUNY Buffalo State (no essays)
  • University of Arkansas (no essays on the Common App)
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Nevada - Las Vegas
  • University of Northern Colorado (no essays)

 

Changes from last year:

 

Week of August 4

Same as last year:

 

Changes from last year:

 

School Specific Applications Not Yet Open:

  • Auburn University
  • Princeton University

 

Week of July 28

 

Same as last year:

 

Changes from last year:

Apply Texas

  • Abilene Christian University - no required essays
  • Sam Houston State University - no required essays
  • St. Edward's University - Choose 1 of 3 AT Prompts (A, B or C)
  • Stephen F. Austin State University - no required essays
  • Texas A&M - College Station - Apply Texas A
  • Texas A&M - Corpus Christi - Optional supplement (see below)
  • Texas A&M -  Kingsville - no required essays
  • Texas Tech  -  AT A & B are optional.  Honors same (see below)
  • Trinity University - same (see below)
  • University of North Texas - no required supplements

 

Not yet released on Common App

  • Bard College
  • Boston University
  • East Carolina University
  • George Washington University
  • Marist College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Roger Williams University
  • Trinity College
  • Tulane University
  • Union College
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Yale University

 

Week of July 21

Changes from last year:


 

Week of July 14

Same as last year:


 

Changes from last year:


 

Week of July 7

Changes from last year:


 

Week of June 23

Same as last year:


Changes from last year:


 

Week of June 16

Same as last year:


Changes from last year:


 

Week of June 9

Changes from last year:


 

Week of May 27

Same as last year:


Changes from last year:




 

All of the Details

Below, you will find the essay prompts for the schools that have released or confirmed essay prompts for the 2019-2020 application season. We've included commentary on the specifics of the changes each school made, and noted the prompts that remained the same. You can click the school name to link to the source of the information. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to thank us for saving you a bunch of time, please reach out to Prompt at support@prompt.com 

 

American University

American has kept the same Why AU? prompt. As of the time of update, their AUx has been removed this year.

Optional Essay 1: Why are you interested in American University? (150 words Common App)

Optional Essay 2: All first-year students will participate in the American University Experience (AUx), a course specially designed for students transitioning into their first year of college at AU. AUx classes meet once per week as small, interactive and inclusive communities. The course provides a place for students to build academic skills for college success; learn about issues of privilege and bias; and explore their own personal identities. The course also models ways of communicating and living in a diverse society, particularly in reference to addressing divergent opinions on challenging topics. How do you personally define an inclusive environment? What do you believe contributes to a diverse and accepting community? (400 words Common App)

 

Amherst

Amherst has kept the same supplements.

Essay 1: [same] Please briefly elaborate on an extracurricular activity or work experience of particular significance to you. (Maximum: 175 words)

Essay 2: [same] In addition to the essay you are writing as part of the Common Application, Amherst requires a supplementary writing sample from all applicants. There are two options for satisfying Amherst's supplementary writing requirement: Option A or Option B. You may respond to one, but not both, of these options. 

Before deciding, carefully read the descriptions of both Option A and Option B below, including the special Option B instructions for applicants who have elected to respond to the “essay topic of your choice” prompt in the Common Application writing section.

Option A: Please 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.

  • Prompt 1: “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
  • Prompt 2: “Translation is the art of bridging cultures. It's about interpreting the essence of a text, transporting its rhythms and becoming intimate with its meaning… Translation, however, doesn't only occur across languages: mentally putting any idea into words is an act of translation; so is composing a symphony, doing business in the global market, understanding the roots of terrorism. No citizen, especially today, can exist in isolation—that is, untranslated.” Ilan Stavans, Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture, Amherst College, Robert Croll '16 and Cedric Duquene '15, from “Interpreting Terras Irradient,” Amherst Magazine, Spring 2015.
  • Prompt 3: "Creating an environment that allows students to build lasting friendships, including those that cut across seemingly entrenched societal and political boundaries… requires candor about the inevitable tensions, as well as about the wonderful opportunities, that diversity and inclusiveness create.” Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, President of Amherst College, Letter to Amherst College Alumni and Families, December 28, 2015.
  • Prompt 4: “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: Please 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. If you have submitted an analytical essay in response to the “essay topic of your choice” prompt in the Common Application writing section, you should NOT select Option B. Instead, you should respond to one of the four quotation prompts in Option A.

Optional Research Questions: [same] 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)

Where, when and under whose mentorship did you conduct this research? (Provide mentor’s name, title and institutional affiliation.) (350 characters)

If your research has been submitted to any national competition (e.g., Siemens, Intel) and/or accepted for professional publication, please provide additional details (350 characters).

 

  Arizona State University - Tempe Campus

Arizona does not have any required writing and the Common App personal statement is optional.  The Barrett Honors application will be released September 4.

 

Auburn University

Auburn has made changes to their essays

Essay 1: What are your goals after college and how do you think that your selected major at Auburn will help achieve those goals?

Essay 2 : Describe your reasons for selecting Auburn University and why you believe you will be successful at Auburn

Essay 3 : Provide other information about yourself that you would like considered in your application review, including any special circumstances which may have adversely affected your high school performance.

[New and required]

Essay 1: [new] In 1943, Dr. George Petrie penned "The Auburn Creed" in which he identified many of the ideals of the Auburn Family. Values such as hard work, honesty, patriotism and kindness were evident then and remain true in Auburn men and women today. (500 words)

Essay 2 & 3: [new]:

All freshman applicants must select and respond to two short answer prompts. Answers are limited to no more than 250 words. Please select two of the following questions to answer.

    1. Which is worse – failing or never trying?
    2. If given no access to a cell phone during your freshman year of college, how would you adjust to that being your new normal? What resources would you have to invest in to take place of your cell phone?
    3. How do you feel about Mondays?
    4. If you could have chosen your own name, what would you have picked?
    5. If you had a theme song, what would it be?

 

Babson College

Babson has an essay prompt for January enrollment.  The "why us" remains the same from last year.

January Enrollment: If you have indicated interest in the January Enrollment option, please address why you would like to be a candidate for this option and what you might choose to do in the fall. Please also note if you would prefer to enroll in January Enrollment over traditional fall enrollment. (200 words max)

Essay: [same] 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 has added an Activity Description prompt.

[ new ] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

[ same ] What factors influenced your decision to apply to Barnard College and why do you think the College would be a good match for you? (100-250 words)

[ same ] Pick one woman in history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about? (100-250 words)

[ new ] Who in your life is depending on you? What are they depending on you for? (250 words)

 

Baylor University

Baylor has the same Common App supplement as last year. We will confirm the Baylor Business Fellows, Computer Science Fellow, and Honors College essays at a future date.

Essay: What are you looking for in a university, why do you want to attend Baylor, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community?

 

Boise State University

Boise has two required honors submissions:

Honors Essay: Tell us about a problem or issue that impacts you and how you are responding to it. The issue may be personal, systemic, local or global. Limit your essay to 400 words and include the word count at the bottom of the page.

Honors Resume: 

With as much detail as possible (there is no page limit), please produce a resume detailing your activities and achievements over the last four years. Be sure to include length of your involvement in each activity (dates and number of hours served), explanations of duties, and leadership roles if applicable. You should include the following categories on your resume:

  • Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Positions (e.g.,Debate Club, Student Council Officer, Athletics, etc.)
  • Community or Volunteer Service (e.g., Special Olympics volunteer, Candy Striper, Habitat for Humanity, etc.)
  • Awards and Special Honors (e.g., National Honor Society, Boy’s or Girl’s State Representatives, etc.)
  • Employment or Internships (e.g., store clerk, summer camp counselor, daycare assistant, etc.)
  • View an example resume

  Boston College

Boston College has the same prompt options as last year

Choose one of four:

    1. 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?
    2. When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?
    3. 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?
    4. 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

BU has the same prompt as last year

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

 

Bowdoin College

Bowdoin removed one of their supplements. The others remain the same as last year.

Required Essay: [same] How did you first learn about Bowdoin? (Limit 140 characters.)

Optional Essay: [same] 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? (250 words)

Optional Additional Information: [same] If there is additional information you feel will support your application, you are welcome to include it here. (no limit)

 

  Brandeis University

Brandeis changed on of the prompt options for their required multiple choice essay.

Please include a short response to one of the three prompts below (250 words or fewer).

  1. Why would you like to attend Brandeis?
  2. Justice Brandeis said, “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” Tell us how you would implement change in society that others might think impossible.
  3. What is something you have recently changed your mind about and why? [ new ]

 

Brown 

Brown changed two of their three supplements.  PLME supplements remain the same. RISD has updated their prompt since we first reported.

  • Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about an academic interest (or interests) that excites you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue it. (250 words) [ NEW ]
  • At Brown, you will learn as much from your peers outside the classroom as in academic spaces. How will you contribute to the Brown community? (250 words) [ NEW ]
  • Tell us about a place or community you call home. How has it shaped your perspective? (250 words) [ SAME ]

PLME: [ SAME ]

  • 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
  • Most people describe a career as a physician/doctor as a "profession", beyond a job. Describe for us what "professionalism" and "the profession of a physician/doctor" mean to you. (250 word limit
  • 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)

Brown|RISD Dual Degree Program: [ UPDATED ]

  • 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 and engage with diverse spheres of academic and creative inquiry.
    The culmination of students’ five-year program is a capstone project that relates and integrates content, approaches, and methods from two distinct learning experiences.
    Considering your understanding of the academic programs at Brown and RISD, describe how and why the specific blend of RISD's experimental, immersive combined studio and liberal arts program and Brown's wide-ranging courses and curricula could constitute an optimal undergraduate education for you. 
    Additionally, how might you contribute to the Dual Degree community and its commitment to interdisciplinary work?

 

  Bucknell

Bucknell has the same supplement as last year.

  • Please explain your interest in your first-choice major/undecided status and your second-choice major, should you opt to list one (250 words maximum).

 

California Institute of Technology

Caltech has all new essay prompts.

Essays 1, 2, 3: [new] Describe three experiences and/or activities that have helped develop your passion for a possible career in a STEM field. Use the separate spaces provided below, one for each STEM experience and/or activity.

STEM experience/activity 1 and explanation (Your response should range between 10-120 words.):

STEM experience/activity 2 and explanation (Your response should range between 10-120 words.):

STEM experience/activity 3 and explanation (Your response should range between 10-120 words.):

Essay 4: [new] Much like the life of a professional scientist or engineer, the life of a "Techer" relies heavily on collaboration. Knowing this, what do you hope to explore, innovate, or create with your Caltech peers? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)

Essay 5: [new] Caltech students are often known for their sense of humor and creative pranks. What do you like to do for fun? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)

Essay 6: [new] The process of discovery best advances when people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech’s community? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)

 

 Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon has 3 supplements; two are the same as last year and one has changed.

Instructions: Please answer all of the following questions; each answer should be no more than 300 words.

  •  Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? [SAME]
  • Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience? [NEW]
  • Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). [SAME] 

 

Case Western University

Case Western does not have a supplement for all students, but it does for it's Pre-Professional Scholars Program.

Pre-Professional Scholars Program

Essay 1: [same] By applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, you are applying to gain admission to professional school earlier than students who apply in the traditional way. Please indicate why you’re interested in your chosen profession. How do you see yourself being particularly suited to this field? What events and/or experiences have led you to your choice? This essay should be between 250 and 500 words in length.

Essay 2: [same]In the college application process, you are constantly prompted for a list of your achievements, awards, and accomplishments. While this information is useful to us, we are interested in hearing more about you. Describe an event, achievement, or experience of which you are particularly proud but that will not show up on a resume, may not garner any recognition, and does not appear anywhere else on your admission application. This essay should not exceed 750 words in length.

 

Chapman

Chapman has five supplements

  • How have you learned about Chapman University? [NEW]
  • What will your declared major be? [NEW}
  • There are thousands of universities and colleges. Please share with us why you are interested in attending Chapman. [SAME]
  • Fast Facts {CHANGES]
  • Choose 1 of 2  [NEW]

Option 1:  “Chapman University is committed to providing an education of distinction by fostering inclusion for all campus members. These efforts can be seen throughout our community: Cross-Cultural Center, Fish Interfaith Center, and The Chapman Experience. What does inclusion mean to you and why is it important on a college campus?”

This is an open-ended question with no “right” answer. Don’t overthink it! Think about your own communities (family, school, friend group, etc.) and how you practice inclusion. How would that translate on a college campus?

Option 2: “The I Am Chapman campaign and the Chapman Diversity Project are just two of the examples of initiatives that promote and enhance these perspectives on campus. If one of these initiatives speak to you, how would you get involved? If not, can you suggest a new campus-wide initiative and explain how you would get this initiative off the ground? ”


Claremont McKenna College

CMC has changed their supplemental prompts this year. Both are 250 words or less.

Why do you want to attend CMC?

What is intellectual courage?

 

Clark University

Clark added has removed one optional prompt.

Optional Essay 1: [same] If there are any inconsistencies within your academic record that you would like to explain, please do so here (200 words recommended, 300 words max)

Optional Essay 2: [same] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

Optional Essay 3: [same] Clarkies take great pride in the warmth and authenticity of the Clark community and community life plays a central role in the Clark experience. For us a community is more than a place to live and learn. What does community mean to you and what do you hope to contribute to and derive from your college community over the next four years? (300 words)

Optional Additional Information: If there are any additional materials that you wish to submit for consideration, you may do so here. While we will review supplementary material, it is not required and is not part of the official evaluation of your file.

 

Clemson

Clemson accepts the Coalition App and their own school app.  We expect the Coalition prompts to mirror the school prompts.

Personal Statement (optional) Include information that you believe will contribute to your success as a student and information that we may not be able to gather within your application. You may also include any information concerning individual educational objectives and career goals.

 

  Colgate

Colgate has two new supplements.

At Colgate, we believe that a diverse community is a strong community. Reflect on an experience that demonstrates your commitment to inclusion and diversity. (260 words)

With over 500 liberal arts and sciences colleges in the United States, what inspired you to apply to Colgate? (260 words)

 

College of Charleston – South Carolina

The College of Charleston only accepts their own application. 

Instruction: While we don't accept the Common Application, feel free to use an essay you may have crafted for the Common Application as essay Option No. 1 - Choose your own topic. You're required to submit one of the following short essays (250-750 words).

  1. [same] Choose your own topic. Use an academic writing sample that highlights creativity and innovation, or provide a response to a universal essay topic.
  2. [new] At the College, living sustainably is more than just adopting a few “green” solutions to your lifestyle. It's about creating sustainable solutions that transform society by rethinking, redesigning, and restoring integrated systems. How do you see yourself engaging in curricular and co-curricular opportunities at CofC to protect the environmental systems upon which we depend?

Optional Essay: [updated wording]: Although this section is optional for most students, if you have taken a GAP semester/year, or you are completing a post-graduate year, it is necessary for you to explain your activities over that period of time.

If you haven’t shared something that you want the admissions committee to know about you, this is your opportunity to do so. (Maximum 750 words.)

Recommended Essay: [new] Why do you want to attend the College of Charleston? (250-750 words maximum)

Honors College Essay: [updated wording]:  The prompt for the Class of 2024 is as follows:  Scholar citizens are committed to pursuing academic excellence while also engaging real-world issues. Identify a significant challenge facing scholar citizens in the 21st century. How will a liberal arts and sciences education help equip you to address that challenge (500-800 words)

 

College of William and Mary 

William and Mary has the same optional and Joint Degree Programme essays as last year.

Optional Essay: [same] 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. (up to 650 words accepted)

Joint Degree Programme: [same] As an applicant to the Joint Degree Programme you are required to submit an additional 1500 – 2000 word essay outlining your interest in the particular academic area to which you are applying – Classical Studies, Economics, English, Film Studies, History, or International Relations; and what particularly interests you about the JDP in your chosen major. Be as specific as you can. Demonstrating that you are familiar with the JDP website—its policies and curriculum—will be helpful to your application, as will examples of your ability to take on a particularly challenging, as well as rewarding, educational experience that demands adaptability, flexibility, and an appreciation for other cultures and institutional practices.

 

Colorado College

Colorado College is using the same prompts as last year.

Required Essay 1: [same] The Block Plan at Colorado College has a tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and-a-half week course and describe what you would do. (500 words) 

Required Essay 2: [same] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

Optional Essay: [same] Why do you wish to attend Colorado College and how would you contribute to the community? (no more than 250 words) 

 

Colorado School of Mines 

Colorado School of Mines has the same supplements as last year.

Optional Essay:If you like, please tell us why Mines is the best fit for you or tell us something about yourself that you feel the rest of your application does not communicate, such as “What’s your favorite high school class and why?,” “You visited Mines and see yourself here because …,” “What are you most passionate about (choose one)? Leadership? Teamwork? Innovation? Community? Something else?"  (7001 character limit)

Optional Essay: Florence Caldwell was the first woman to graduate from Mines. She enrolled in 1895 and found that her fellow classmates discouraged her attendance. She persevered through that discouragement and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1898. She was described as a problem solver who was loyal, kind and sympathetic to others and displayed unwavering courage. Describe a time when you overcame an obstacle, persevered through a situation or displayed characteristics similar to Florence Caldwell. (7001 character limit)

 

Colorado State University

Colorado State has one optional supplement which is the same as last year. They accept the Common App Personal statement and their own app has an essay we will confirm at  a later date.

Optional Essay: [same] If your cumulative GPA is less than a B average, you have any D or F grades, or you are not satisfied with your ACT/SAT test scores, this is your opportunity to explain. Be sure to address the following questions when responding:

  • What factors caused or contributed to your performance, including your own choices/actions?
  • What actions did you take or are you taking to address these factors in order to be academically and/or personally successful?
  • What have you learned from the experience that has changed or will change how you approach your academics and/or personal challenges?

You are encouraged to go deeper than: “Just being at CSU will help me be successful.” (300 words)

 

Columbia University

Columbia is using the same essay prompts as last year.

Essay 1: [same] Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less) 

Essay 2: [same] List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or less)

Essay 3: [same] List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Essay 4: [same] List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Essay 5: [same] List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or less)

Essay 6: [same] List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Optional Research Abstract: [same] Have you completed research with a faculty member or mentor in an academic discipline such as science, engineering or other academic interests (e.g., humanities, social sciences or languages)?

Please complete the following questions regarding your research experience.

  • Where was the research conducted? (750 characters)
  • Describe your time commitment to this research (750 characters)
  • Describe your specific research responsibilities and contributions (75 characters)
  • Research Mentor Name (100 characters)
  • Research Mentor Title (100 characters)
  • Research Mentor Email (100 characters)
  • Research Mentor Mailing Address (100 characters)
  • List any recognitions you have received for this research (e.g. publications, presentations, awards, etc.) (200 characters)

Cornell University

Cornell has new major specific prompts (or wording adjustments).

Engineering: Tell us about your interest in engineering or what you hope to achieve with a degree in engineering. Describe what appeals to you about Cornell Engineering and how it specifically relates to your engineering interest or aspirations. (650 words)

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. (650 words)

College of Business - Dyson: The Dyson School is unique by design. What motivates you to apply to Dyson and where do you plan to go from here? (650 words)

College of Business - Hotel: How have your interests and experiences influenced your decision to apply to the School of Hotel Administration? How does this decision relate to your future plans and aspirations? (650 words)

 

 

Dartmouth

Dartmouth changed 3 of the prompts for their second supplemental essay.

Instructions: Please 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. [SAME]
    2. 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? [SAME]
    3. In The Painted Drum, author Louise Erdrich ‘76 wrote, “… what is beautiful that I make? What is elegant? What feeds the world?” Tell us about something beautiful you have made or hope to make. [NEW]
    4.  “Yes, books are dangerous,” young people’s novelist Pete Hautman proclaimed. “They should be dangerous—they contain ideas.” What book or story captured your imagination through the ideas it revealed to you? Share how those ideas influenced you. [NEW]
    5. “I have no special talent,” Albert Einstein once observed. “I am only passionately curious.” Celebrate your curiosity. [SAME]
    6. Labor leader Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist who co-founded the organization now known as United Farm Workers. She said, “We criticize and separate ourselves from the process. We've got to jump right in there with both feet.” Speak your truth: Talk about a time when your passion became action. [NEW]

 

Davidson College

Davidson has the same supplements as last year. 

Essay 1: [same] Why Davidson? (250-300 Suggested Word Limit) 

Essay 2: [same] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (200 Word Limit)

Essay 3: [same] List the books you have read in the past year for school or leisure. Place an asterisk by those books required for classes you have taken. (no word limit)

 

Drexel

Drexel does not have supplements for all students but does require the Common App Personal Statement. The prompts for Westphal College and Custom-Designed remain the same.

Westphal College: [same] Please write a short essay describing why you are interested in pursuing your major of choice at Drexel University's Westphal College. What have you done that prepares you to study in your major of choice? (maximum of 500 words)

Note: Applies to applicants to Animation and Visual Effects, Design and Merchandising, Game Design and Production, Interactive Digital Media, Screenwriting and Playwriting, and TV Production and Media Management.

Custom-Designed: [same] Please write a personal essay between 500 and 800 words describing in detail what you want to study, what you hope to accomplish during your time in the program, and why your educational goals are best met by a program like this. In writing your essay, think about what problem you might want to solve or issue you want to address, and discuss how your proposed major would help with that. Your personal essay should also include how you expect your proposed major to prepare you for life after Drexel, discussing possible career paths or other pursuits the Custom-Designed Major would help facilitate. Finally, you should also create a proposed plan of courses that would help you realize your vision for a Custom-Designed Major. Think about courses that are exciting and intriguing, and select those courses, specifically, that would help you achieve your academic and professional goals. A sample personal essay and proposed plan of courses can be found here.

 

  Duke University

Duke has the same supplemental essays as last year.

Optional: 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 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. (250 word limit)

Pratt: If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering as a first year applicant, please discuss why you want to study engineering AND why you would like to study at Duke. (Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.)

Trinity: If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (250 words)

 

  Elon University

Elon has made changes to a few supplements

Why Elon University? (200-250 Word Limit) [ new ]

Think Fast: (first prompt removed)

  1. It's 2040. What's today's headline? (30 words)
  2. If you could create a food truck, what type of food would you serve? Name the truck. (30 words)
  3. Name three songs from your perfect playlist. (30 words)

 

  Emory University

Emory has changed their supplemental prompts. Students will write two short essays, choosing one prompt from each category with a maximum word count of 150 words for each essay.

“Reflections” 

    1. Share about something you want to bring from your community to the Emory University community.
    2. Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true.
    3. Emory University’s shield is a crossed torch and trumpet representing the light of learning and the proclamation of knowledge. It symbolizes our mission to impact the world through discovery. What truth or knowledge do you want to see shared?

“Tell us about you” 

    1. Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why?
    2. If you could witness a historic event first-hand, what would it be, and why? 
    3. If asked to write a 150-word tweet to tell the world who you are, what would you say? (Yes, the actual Twitter character limit would likely be shorter than 150 words, but thanks for indulging us.)

 

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern does not have any required supplements for the Common Application.  We will collect the Coalition and School specific app at a later date.

 

Franklin W Olin College Engineering

Franklin Olin made a small wording change to their Community Impact supplement

Essay 1: [same] Choose 1 of 3 - (250-500)

  1. Tell us the story of a specific time when you made someone happy. Where were you? What happened? What were you thinking and feeling? What impact did this specific experience of making someone happy have on you?
  2. Connect a moment in your life when you felt something strongly (positive or negative) to who you are today. What were the details surrounding this strong emotion? Where were you? What happened? What were you thinking and feeling? And, most importantly, how has that moment informed who you are?
  3. Think about all the things we will learn about you throughout your application to Olin, from your application materials and recommendations and through your own words in your other essays. What's missing? Share a specific story that tells us something about you that we don't yet know.

Essay 2: [wording change] Olin is a community striving to improve the world and improve people’s lives through engineering education. What change do you hope to be a part of? Why is this particular change important to you? How do you want to improve the world? (250-500 words)

 

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has removed their second (Choose 1 of 3) supplement and kept the first.

  • Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and how do you think Georgia Tech will prepare you to pursue opportunities in that field after graduation? (max 250 words) [ SAME ]

 

George Mason University 

George Mason has the same essay prompts as last year.

Optional Essay: [same] Why do YOU want to go to college? We know it is an excellent path to a career, but we want to hear more specifically about what you are hoping to gain from your time in college. Tell us about yourself and your experiences that have led to this decision.

Honors College and Scholarship Consideration: [same] To complete your application to the Honors College, please choose and respond to one (1) of the prompts below in no more than 750 words.

  • Our experience of the universe, our planet Earth, and the history of humankind continues to present unanswered questions and unresolved problems. If you were to choose one question or problem to investigate during your undergraduate years at Mason, what would it be? Why are you interested in the topic, what research do you wish to conduct during your studies concerning this, and what do you hope to gain from your inquiry?
  • What is the most compelling thing you have ever read, and how has it changed you or inspired you to take action now, in the past, or in the future? This could be an entire book, a passage or chapter, a poem, an article, graffiti- anything written.

 

Georgia State University

GSU has the same supplemental essay as last year

Essay: [same] Please list your primary extracurricular and community service activities. Describe one community service activity that you have participated in that has changed your view on a particular social issue. Discuss the social issue and how your experience changed your way of thinking about it. (250 words)

 

 

George Washington University

George Washington made changes to their honors essays this year.

Essay: [same] Choose 1 of 2:

  • 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?
  • 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?

Optional Graded Paper: [same] If you are applying to a writing-intensive program (such as English, Journalism, Political Communication), you may submit an optional graded paper.

Graphic Design BFA: [same]  Please write an essay addressing why you want to be a Graphic Designer. Your essay should include the following concepts: a specific art movement (in art/design history) that influenced you OR a design work (typeface, architecture, furniture, industrial designed object) that influenced you. (500 words max)

Interaction Design: [same] Please write 500 words (maximum) explaining why you want to study Interaction Design at GW.

Interior Architecture: [same] Please write 500 words (maximum) explaining why you want to study interior architecture at GW.

Journalism and Mass Communication: [same] Write a profile of yourself in news or news feature style, as if you had interviewed yourself. (500 words max)

Photojournalism: [same] Please write a short essay (500-word max) that addresses the following questions: Why do you want to earn a BFA at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University? Who or what are your primary artistic influences (excluding family and teachers)? What are some of the issues (aesthetic, conceptual, historical, cultural, political, etc.) that you hope to address in your future work as BFA student at the Corcoran?  (500-word max).

Political Communication: [same] If you could be any one person who has been active in politics, who would you choose to be and why? (500 words max)

University Honors Program

Honors 1: [new] The Honors Program's core curriculum is comprised of interdisciplinary courses, discussion- based engagement with complex issues, and reflection. Why do you want to make this program a priority for your undergraduate experience? (250 words or fewer)

Honors 2: [new] Choose 1 of 2 (250 words max)

  • Describe an event in your life, a person, or an experience (choose one) that has had a profound effect on you. How has it influenced change in you, your attitudes, and/or your goals?
  • Write a letter to the author of a book you loved.

 

 

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga has the same supplements as last year

Essay: [new] Please choose one of the following questions to answer below. Please provide a short response (3-6 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.

Nursing: [same] 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 fit for you?
(1,000 characters)

 

 Harvard University

All prompts remain the same. We expect these prompts to continue to be the same across all applications Harvard accepts.

Essay 1: [same] Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular school. Please use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application. These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed projects not done as school work, training experiences, online courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described elsewhere. (150 words)

Essay 2: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 words)

Optional Harvard Supplement Instruction: 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: (no word limit)

  1. Unusual circumstances in your life
  2. Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities
  3.  What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
  4.  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
  5. How you hope to use your college education
  6.  A list of the books you have read during the past twelve months
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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.

 

Haverford College

Haverford has the same supplements as last year.

Essay 1: [same] Please tell us what motivated you to apply to Haverford and what excites you most as you imagine your Haverford experience. Please limit your response to 150 words.

Essay 2: [same] A Haverford education is distinguished by the extraordinary trust placed in students, the emphasis on student agency in all facets of the academic and community experience, and the cultivation of ethical leadership. All of this is embodied in our student-run Honor Code. The Haverford Honor Code is not a set of rules, but rather a statement of shared values centered on the concepts of trust, concern, and respect. It serves as an educational tool in and of itself and provides a powerful framework for our community, emphasizing and supporting qualities we see as essential to a Haverford education. Among other things, the Honor Code at Haverford shapes: 

  • Academic Freedom: The Honor Code fosters an atmosphere emphasizing academic integrity, collaboration over competition, and the cultivation of intellectual curiosity. Differences and disagreement are respected, valued, and embraced, and open discourse is seen as fundamental to the academic endeavor. 
  • Student Agency: The Honor Code upholds a culture in which students are deeply trusted to take substantial ownership of their education and to profoundly shape and define the Haverford community. Student ownership is reflected in self-scheduled exams, in the fact that every student completes a Senior Thesis, in shared responsibility for the residential experience, and of course in oversight of the Honor Code itself. 
  • Community: The Honor Code establishes a supportive environment for living and learning, where the community experience plays a central role in one’s education. The inherent value of every community member is recognized, and diversity in all respects - including diversity of background, experience, and perspective - is nurtured, celebrated, and embraced.
  • Leadership and Engagement: The Honor Code allows every student to find and develop their own voice, to practice ways of improving community and acting on issues of importance, to learn methods of problem solving and conflict resolution, and to examine the ways they can and will impact the world beyond Haverford.

Please give us a better sense of what you are looking for in your college experience by answering the following question: Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you think the environment at Haverford, including the framework of the Honor Code, would foster your continued intellectual growth? (250 words)

 

  High Point University

High Point has the same supplemental prompts as last year, all are Required.

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)

 

Hofstra University 

Hofstra has the same supplements as last year.

Required Essay: [same] Why are you applying to Hofstra? (500 word maximum.)

Optional Test Score Optional Essay: [same] Submitting standardized test scores to Hofstra is optional. This provides students with the ability to decide for themselves how to best present their academic strengths and abilities to the admission committee and allows each individual student to decide whether the standardized test results accurately reflect his or her academic ability and potential. The mid-range of admitted students submitting SAT scores is 1140 to 1330, with an average ACT equivalent of 24 to 31. If you choose to submit scores from the SAT or the ACT, official test scores must be sent directly from the testing service. Once the application form has been submitted, that choice cannot be changed or rescinded. Please explain your decision to apply without test scores.

 

  Indiana University - Bloomington

  • 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

 

  Ithaca College

Ithaca has the same Why Major? essay as last year.

Please tell us why you selected this specific academic program and what other academic programs interest you. (minimum of 10 words, max of 200 words)

 

James Madison University

James Madison will use the same essay prompts as last year, although with some minor wording changes to the optional Coalition App supplement. We will confirm the Dingledine and College of Business scholarship essays at a future date.

Optional Coalition App Essay: [slight wording changes] This is the space for you to tell us more about yourself. Feel free to use this space to explain any circumstances that may have affected you and cannot be found on your high school transcript. Your personal statement should be no more than 500 words.

JMU Honors College

Essay 1: [same] Based upon your understanding of the JMU Honors College, what kind of student do you think the college should be looking for and why do you think you are that kind of student?

Essay 2: [same] What are your long-term goals and how do you think participation in the college will help you achieve them?

Optional Additional Information: [same] Please share any additional information not already provided in the application that you feel should be considered for admission to the Honors College

 

 Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins supplement remains the same.

  • 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.  (300-400 words)

 

Lake Erie College

Lake Erie has a personal statement that is optional for admissions buy required for placement and registration along with a required short answer. Test-optional students must also submit a graded writing assignment.

  • Essay (500 words): Essay is optional for admission, but is required for placement and registration. Applicants are encouraged to submit essay at the time of application.
  • What was the most influential factor in applying to Lake Erie College? (255 characters)

 

  Lafayette

Lafayette's supplements remain the same.

Required: Why Lafayette? (200 words)

Optional: There’s a difference between being busy and being engaged. Lafayette comes alive each day with the energy of students who are deeply engaged in their academic, co-curricular and extracurricular explorations. In response to the prompt below, keep it simple – choose one activity and add depth to our understanding of your involvement.  What do you do? Why do you do it? (20-200 words). 

 

  Lehigh University

Lehigh has three new supplements.

  • How did you first learn about Lehigh University and what motivated you to apply? (150 words)
  • Your time at Lehigh will be shaped in large part by others. What personal perspective will you contribute based on your unique interests, experiences, and background? (250 words)
  • With the understanding that you are able to change Colleges at Lehigh after one year, why did you choose to apply to the College or program you selected above? (650 characters)


  Lewis and Clark College

Lewis and Clark has the same supplements as last year.  

Have you visited Lewis & Clark College?  When did you visit Lewis & Clark?  Please describe your visit to campus (250 words or less).

Required: Lewis & Clark College is a private college with a public conscience and a global reach. We celebrate our strengths in collaborative scholarship, international engagement, environmental understanding and entrepreneurial thinking. As we evaluate applications, we look for students who understand what we offer and are eager to contribute to our community. In one paragraph, please tell us why you are interested in attending Lewis & Clark and how you will impact our campus. Please answer in 50-500 words.

 

Loyola Marymount University 

Loyola Marymount has the same supplements as last year.

Instructions: Please read the three statements, which all relate to the mission and the values of Loyola Marymount University. Choose the one you find most interesting and thought provoking; then, answer the question which accompanies the statement you select. This essay, usually around 500 words, is your chance to display your critical and creative thinking. Upload your response to the selected prompt (usually 500 - 1,000 words).

  1. Prompt 1: In Pope Francis’ 2015 address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, he said: “Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”
    Prompt 1 question: While Pope Frances was speaking to elected leaders when he made these remarks, he was reminding all leaders of our obligations to each other. How do leaders and decision makers in any organization keep the Golden Rule in mind while striving for distinction and success?
  2. Prompt 2: Speaking about education, Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.’’
    Prompt 2 question: Critical thinking is a central goal of Jesuit education, and at LMU you’ll be asked to think critically and intensively in every class. Dr. King suggests that critical thinking results in our ability to inform intelligence with character, and strengthen character with intelligence. Please talk about a situation that demanded critical thinking from you, and how your choices or decisions integrated intelligence and character. 
  3. Prompt 3: A motto often associated with Jesuit and Marymount schools is ‘‘Educating men and women for others.’’ Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the former head of the Jesuits, once said that ‘‘our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others, who believe that a love of self or of God which does not issue forth in justice for the least of their neighbors is a farce.’’ 
    Prompt 3 question: What do you think Fr. Arrupe meant when he said this? Please give an example of someone you know, other than your teachers and parents, who works for justice for the least of their neighbors. 

Optional Essay: [same] Please briefly state your reason for wishing to attend LMU and/or how you came to select your major. (500 words)

 

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola has the same prompt as last year.  

Essay 1 [optional]: Submit personal statement of 500 words or less regarding yourself and your international experience/s and/or interest and how you feel that has prepared you for the Rome Start program.

 

Loyola University Maryland

Loyola has the same prompt as last year.  

Essay 1 [optional]: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

Essay 2[for test-optional]:  If you choose not to send SAT/ACT scores as part of your application, an additional teacher recommendation letter or a statement on the following topic is required: 

Loyola’s Jesuit tradition is a commitment to a liberal arts education and the spiritual ideals of the Society of Jesus, leading to development of the whole person. Loyola is dedicated to educating students who learn, lead and serve in a diverse and changing world. Please tell us why the Jesuit tradition at Loyola University Maryland is important to you. (250 words)

 

Macalester College

Macalester changed their required supplement and removed their two optional supplements.

Required:

Essay 1:[same] Macalester is a community that includes people from many different backgrounds. Please write an essay about how your background, experiences, or outlook might add to the Mac community, academically and personally. (250-500 words)

Essay 1: {new} Macalester is one of few highly selective liberal arts colleges located in the middle of a metropolitan area. Students benefit from the strong sense of community on campus and opportunities to engage in academic, social, and civic engagement options in the Twin Cities. Have you thought about how Macalester's location might impact your experience? If so, in what ways? (500 words max)

Optional:

How did you first learn about Macalester? (200 words)

Have you visited the Macalester campus? If yes, please describe and give approximate date(s). (up to 255 characters) 

 

  Marquette University

Marquette added an optional supplement this year.

Who in your life is depending on you? What are they depending on you for? (Optional) 100 words [ new ]

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is using the same prompts as last year. At Prompt, we love MIT because our founders went there. Three MIT engineers founding a writing company – a bit ironic; isn't it? (Portfolio information will be updated once MIT releases that via Slideroom)

Essay 1: [same] 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. (100 words or fewer)

Essay 2: [same] Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100 words or fewer)

Essay 3: [same] 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)

Essay 4: [same] 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? (200-250 words)

Essay 5: [same] 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)

 

Michigan State University

Michigan State will use the Common App personal statement prompts for it's own application and the Common App. The Common App personal statement will replace the two 200-word prompts Michigan State had last year. It remains to be seen whether Michigan State will use the Common App prompts for their Coalition App application. We will confirm when they release the application.

 

Midwestern State University

Midwestern State accepts the Apply Texas application and does not require an essay. It does have an honors program essay.

Redwine Honors Program: Attach a one-page Personal Essay: Tell us about yourself. What are some of your academic/career goals? Why are you interested in participating in the Redwine Honors Program?

 

Montana State University

Montana has the same supplement as last year:

Essay:[same] What do you consider to be the most significant factor in your decision to apply to MSU?(4001 character maximum)

Honors 1:[same] A brief statement about your academic career plans centering upon what field of study you anticipate pursuing along with your future career and other professional aspirations.

Honors 2:[same] A typed essay on a topic of your choice, illustrative of your composition skills not to exceed 500 words.

 

  New York University

NYU has a slight wording change in their required supplement.

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 word maximum) 

 

  North Carolina State University

NCSU has a portfolio prompt for Fashion and Textile Design

In approximately 500 words, describe how you are motivated and how you work as a designer. Using one piece from your portfolio, tell us what motivated and inspired you to design it. Describe your design process from creative inspiration to finished object.

Their optional prompts remain the same.

Discuss any obstacles and/or hardships you have encountered and how you dealt with them. (250 words)

NC State is a community that is strong because of the diversity of our perspectives and experiences. Please describe how you could contribute to or benefit from campus diversity. (250 words)

 

  Northwestern University

Other parts of your application give us a sense for how you might contribute to Northwestern. But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. In 300 words or less, help us understand what aspects of Northwestern appeal most to you, and how you'll make use of specific resources and opportunities here. 

 

 

  Occidental College

Why are you applying to Occidental? What are your intellectual curiosities and why do you think Occidental is the right place for you to pursue them? (200 words maximum length) [ same ]

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? (200 words maximum length) [ same ]

Quirks, idiosyncrasies, peculiarities. They help differentiate us. What is one of yours? (133 words max)  [ word count change ]

New Short Answers

What is your favorite word (in English or another language) and why? (50 characters)
Explanation (25 words)
What is the first song you would play for your roommates on move-in day? (150 characters)
If you had your own food truck or restaurant, what would it be called? (150 characters)

 

 Ohio State University

Ohio State has the same Honors and Scholars Program essay as last year.

To what fictional character do you most relate, and why? You may select a character from animation, art, film, literature, television, theater or any other medium. (350-500 words)

 

  Oregon State University

Oregon State has a new Honors prompt (450-500 words) and they removed one supplement.


“It is failure that guides evolution; perfection provides no incentive for improvement, and nothing is perfect.” –Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist (New York: Anchor Books, 1999), p. 38.

Whitehead invites us to think of failure as a positive influence because it drives progress. Perfection, on the other hand, does not exist, so there is always “incentive for improvement.” For example, there might be ways to improve cell phones, self-driving cars, social media, presidential elections, or the final season of Game of Thrones.

Identify something specific (not a person) that could be improved. Then, write an essay in which you:
  1. Briefly outline its failures or limitations.
  2. Explore how those might guide its evolution.

The following required supplements are the same.

  • Dealing with adversity: Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to address this challenge. Include whether you turned to anyone in facing the challenge, the role the person played, and what you learned about yourself.
  • Community service: Explain what you have done to make your community a better place to live. Give examples of specific projects in which you have been involved over time.
  • Handling systemic challenges:Describe your experiences facing or witnessing discrimination. Tell us how you responded and what you learned from these experiences and how they have prepared you to contribute to the OSU community.
  • Knowledge in a field/creativity:Describe any special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity- the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.
  • Goals/task commitment:Articulate the goals you have established for yourself and your efforts to accomplish these. Give at least one specific example that demonstrates your work ethic/diligence.
  • OSU would like to better understand your perspectives, contributions, qualifications, and diverse talents. Please address your experience in each category keeping in mind how what you know could contribute to the future community of excellence at OSU. Respond to the questions and limit answers to 100 words per question.
  • Leadership/Group Contributions: Describe examples of your leadership experience in which you significantly influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. Consider responsibilities to initiatives taken in or out of school.

 

Pace University

Pace requires the Common App personal statement. Pace may also send an application to the Honors College upon a review of the student's application.

Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Endowed Scholarship: [same] To be considered for the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund you must include an additional essay or list of activities on community service in addition to your Common Application personal statement. (500 words)

 

Pennsylvania State University 

Optional Personal Statement: 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.

Schreyer Honors College

Schreyer Honors has 3 new supplements.  800 word max.

  • Describe a typical day in your life in 2050. Consider what your professional life will look like, what technologies you might use, and how you will interact with your personal network (friends, family, etc.) and the world at large.
  • Describe a situation in which you moved outside your comfort zone, interacting with people whose experiences and/or beliefs are different from your own.  What was your initial response and how did you adapt? Walk us through the situation and explain what impact it had on you.
  • "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture. If you could submit a selfie from anywhere in the world that would tell us about your beliefs and passion, where would you take this photo? What insight would this photo provide about you?

 

  Pepperdine University

Pepperdine has only one supplement this year.

Pepperdine is a Christian university where all are welcomed and encouraged to challenge each other in the pursuit of truth. Students, faculty, and staff members from all backgrounds participate in conversations of faith inside and outside of the classroom. Considering that Pepperdine is a Christian university, why are you interested in attending and how would you contribute to conversations of faith on campus? (300 - 500 words) [ new ]

 

  Pitzer College

Pitzer has changed their multiple choice supplement

Choose 1 of 3

  1. Describe what you are looking for from your college experience and why Pitzer would be a good fit for you.
  2. Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one of Pitzer’s core values? 
  3. Pitzer is known for our students’ intellectual and creative activism. If you could work on a cause that is meaningful to you through a project, artistic, academic, or otherwise, what would you do? 

 

Pomona

Pomona has 2 required supplements for students who apply via the Common App.

Applicants will choose to answer two of the following three questions in responses of 200 to 250 words.

    1. Imagine having a 1 a.m. debate/discussion with your peers in college about an issue you care about. What is that issue, and what is the discussion? 
    2. Share your favorite quote, and tell us what it means to you. The quote can be from an author, leader, musical artist, family member or other source—famous or not. (The quote does not count toward your word limit.)
    3. We want to understand you better! Tell us about a skill you have (useless or useful) and what it says about you.

 

Providence College 

Providence changed their wording.

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

[wording change]  We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.” -St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Philosopher. Providence College students have always engaged in lively intellectual debates through disputatio - the art of disputed questions. At Providence, there is often not one correct answer, but rather many answers that come together to form one truth. In a divided society filled with strong opinions, how do you work to ensure all viewpoints are considered and the ultimate truth is discovered? As Providence College educates future scholars and leaders, it continuously strives to form a community that reflects the rich diversity of the human family. Please highlight a specific example throughout your time in high school that has strengthened and promoted the flourishing of all and explain how you will use this experience to make an impact on the Providence College community.

 

  Purdue

Pursue has two new Honors prompts:

  • Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the Honors College. (300 word maximum)
  • Your Evolution of Ideas course will cover a topic of which you may have no prior knowledge and will contain 25 students who vary in background, interests, and ideals. What excites you about this scenario and the interdisciplinary aspect of the course? (300 word maximum)

 

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac only requires the Common App personal statement. TheHealthcare-related Field essay is the same as last year.

Healthcare-related Field Essay: [same] If you are applying for a major in a healthcare field please tell us briefly about any experience you have had that has fostered your interest in the major of your choice. (250 word maximum.)

 

Reed College

Reed has the same supplements as last year.

Required Essay: [same] For one week at the end of January, Reed students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise. This week is known as Paideia after the Greek term signifying “education” – the complete education of mind, body and spirit. What would you teach that would contribute to the Reed community? (200 words minimum, 500 words maximum)

Previously Applied to Reed Essay: [same] If you previously applied to Reed, address what you've been doing since you last applied to Reed (50 words minimum, 100 words maximum).

 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

RPI updated the wording and word count for the  "Why RPI?" essay. We will update the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) and Management-Law or Science, Technology and Society-Law Programs  essays when they are released.

Required Essay: [updated] Why are you interested in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute? (250 words)

Optional Essay: [same] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (300 words)

 

  Rice University

Rice has the same supplements as last year.

  • There is a breadth of intellectual opportunities here at Rice. Further explain your intended major and other areas of academic focus you may explore. (150 word limit)
  • What aspects of the Rice undergraduate experience inspired you to apply? (150 word limit)
  • In keeping with Rice's long-standing tradition (known as "The Box"), please share an image of something that appeals to you. See the Help Section for more information.
  • 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? (500 word limit) (NON-Architecture majors)

 

  Santa Clara University

  • Briefly describe what prompted you to apply to Santa Clara University. If you have had the opportunity to visit campus, please describe what aspect of your experience most influenced your impression of SCU. (Maximum 200 words)
  • Driven by the Jesuit values outlined in our mission statement, Santa Clara University promises to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. We strive to cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Write about an experience from your life that embodies an aspect of our mission. (between 150 - 300 words)

 

  Seattle University

Seattle has a new reflections prompt and new options for their multiple-choice essay.

A hallmark of a Seattle University education is the value we place on self-reflection and discernment as paths to discovering meaning in our lives. Take time to reflect on your college search and application process. What have you learned about yourself as you consider your future in college and beyond? Who do you feel called to be? (100 – 250 words)

Choose 1 of 3:

  1.  Seattleites are known for buying more books per capita than residents of any other major U.S. city. If you could recommend any book or podcast to your admissions counselor, what would it be and why?
  2. Seattle has a rich musical history and SU students love discovering new Seattle music. Tell us: what five songs would be the soundtrack to your perfect college experience? (two to three sentences for each song is appropriate)
  3. Seattle University has more than 120 student clubs and an engaged, adventurous student body. Please tell us one of your favorite extracurricular activities or work experiences and what you learned from participating. 

Skidmore College

Skidmore accepts the Common App personal statement as its only essay. It also has an essay for the Porter Scholarships.

Porter Scholarships in Science and Mathematics: Please type up a list of any extra-curricular science and math activities you have been involved in (e.g., school clubs, academic teams, tutoring, relevant volunteer work, shadowing/internship experiences, independent studies, summer research programs, etc.) and any awards/honors you have received (e.g., science fair competitions, science or math Olympiad medals, high testing, etc.). Then underneath the list, write a brief essay discussing: (no word limit listed)
  • (a) your interests in science and/or mathematics, 
  • (b) how the activities you list above have helped you grow as a scientist and/or mathematician, and 
  • (c) how you hope to pursue your scholarly interests at Skidmore. 

   Stanford

  • 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. (100 to 250 words)
  • 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. (100 to 250 words)
  • Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (100 to 250 words)
  • What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50 word limit)
  • How did you spend your last two summers? (50 word limit)
  • What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit)
  • What five words best describe you?
  • When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch? (50 word limit)
  • Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50 word limit)
  • Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? (50 word limit)
  • Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (50-150 words)

 

  Smith College

Smith changed their required supplemental essay.

[ new ] We know that colleges ask a lot of hard questions on their applications. This one is not so hard and we promise, there is no hidden agenda - just have fun! If you had a theme song - a piece of music that describes you, what would it be and why? Please include the name of the song and the artist. (200 words)

 

Stevens Institute of Technology 

Stevens requires the Common App personal statement. They have one essay for the Accelerated Medicine program.

Accelerated Medicine: [same] Please provide an essay of 500 words or less on why you want to go into the medical field. If the personal statement you submitted with your application addresses this topic, no additional essay is required. If that is the case, submit the phrase "Submitted with Common App Essay" to complete this writing requirement.

 

Swarthmore

Swarthmore has the same supplement as last year.

In 150 to 250 words, please write about why you are interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore.

 

  Syracuse University

Syracuse has the same supplements as last year.

  • Who or what influenced you to apply to Syracuse University? (Maximum: 250 words)
  • Who is the person you dream of becoming and how do you believe Syracuse University can help you achieve this? (Maximum: 250 words)

 

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi

Though not required, you can submit any of the following items to supplement your application for admission:

  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Essay
  • Personal statement
  • Special circumstances

 

  Texas Tech 

Texas Tech Honors essays remain the same.

  • In approximately 200 words, please explain how your grades, test scores and/or class ranking are or are not accurate predictors of your potential success in the Honors College. What is your intended major and why?
  • In approximately 200 words, please describe your role within an extracurricular activity, volunteer activity, or work experience. How did this activity empower you and/or make a contribution to your community?
  • In approximately 200 words, please tell us about your favorite book. What does this choice say about you?
  • In 350-500 words, please tell us a story about yourself that illustrates what you consider to be one of your defining characteristics.

Tufts 

Tufts has made changes to their supplemental prompts for all schools.

School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree:

Required Essay 1:

[OLD]:  What excites you about Tufts' intellectually playful community? In short, "Why Tufts?" (200-250 words)

[NEW]: Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, ‘Why Tufts?’ (100-150 words)

 

Required Essay 2:

Choose 1 of 2 is changed to Choose 1 of 3 with the following prompts:

A) From recognizing break dancing as a new Olympic sport, to representation in media, to issues of accessibility in our public transit systems, what is something that you can talk about endlessly? What do you care about and why?

B) Whether you've built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Or what do you hope to?

C) We all have a story to tell. And with over 5,000 undergraduate students on our campus, that is over 5,000 stories to share and learn. What’s yours? 

 

BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts:

Required Essay 1:

[OLD]: Which aspects of the Tufts curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (200-250 words)

[NEW]: Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)

 

Required Essay 2:

Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. Whether you think of Ai Weiwei’s work reframing the refugee crisis, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s portraits of the Obamas reimagining portrait painting on a national scale, or Yayoi Kusama’s fanciful Infinity Mirrors rekindling our sense of wonder, it is clear that contemporary art is driven by ideas. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words) 

 

 

University of Arizona

Arizona has changed their honors prompts.  Students choose one of three options, 500 words or less.

Essay Option #1: “A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Maturity is a virtue that we all strive for but often find difficult to obtain. It is a quality that we must acquire at some point in our lives as we become adults. What do you think it means to be a mature person?

Write a well-organized essay in which you describe what you think are some of the qualities that make a person mature.

Essay Option #2: We experience many types of relationships with our family and friends during our lifetimes. Some of these relationships survive over the years, while others deteriorate. What qualities are important to learn and develop in order to sustain healthy, lasting relationships?

In a well-developed essay, discuss those qualities that you feel contribute to a healthy relationship. Support your answer with specific details or examples from your own experience or reading.

Essay Option #3: Many people have argued that the skills needed to be successful in today's workforce have changed. What skills do you feel an individual needs to be successful in a job today? Why do you feel these skills are most important?

In an essay to be read by a teacher, identify the skills you feel are most needed by an individual to be successful at work and provide reasons to persuade your teacher that these are the most critical skills for success.

 

University of Chicago

Chicago has two required supplements. The first prompt remains the same. The prompt choices for the extended essay have changed.

[same]

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.

[new]

    1. Cats have nine lives, Pac-Man has 3 lives, and radioactive isotopes have half-lives. How many lives does something else—conceptual or actual—have, and why?
    2. If there’s a limited amount of matter in the universe, how can Olive Garden (along with other restaurants and their concepts of food infinity) offer truly unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks? Explain this using any method of analysis you wish—physics, biology, economics, history, theology… the options, as you can tell, are endless.
    3. A hot dog might be a sandwich, and cereal might be a soup, but is a ______ a ______?
    4. “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Jessamyn West
    5. UChicago has international campus centers around the world, but we don’t have any interplanetary, interstellar, or interdimensional campuses… yet! Propose a spot in time or space, in this or any universe, for a new UChicago campus. What types of courses would be taught at this site? What cultural experiences await students who study there?
    6. “Don’t be afraid to pick past prompts! I liked some of the ones from previous years more than those made newly available for my year. Also, don’t worry about the ‘correct’ way to interpret a question. If there exists a correct way to interpret the prompt I chose, it certainly was not my answer.”

 

  University of Delaware

UDel has a wording and word count change to their Academic Performance prompt.

  • Self-Appraisal of your academic performance: The Admissions Committee expects that you will take advantage of this question to explain any grade on your transcript that is unusually low or varies significantly from your usual performance in the section below. (250 words)

 

University of Georgia

UGA had made a single prompt change to their Choose 1 of 4 supplemental essay. 

  • UGA’s 2017 Commencement speaker Ernie Johnson (Class of ’79) told a story from his youth about what he refers to as blackberry moments. He has described these as “the sweet moments that are right there to be had but we’re just too focused on what we’re doing …, and we see things that are right there within our reach and we neglect them. Blackberry moments can be anything that makes somebody else’s day, that makes your day, that are just sweet moments that you always remember.” Tell us about one of your “blackberry moments” from the past five years. [SAME]
  • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What is the best part? What advice would you give to a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)? [NEW]
  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. [SAME]
  • 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. [SAME]

 

University of Hartford

Hartford has a required essay for applicants to the Hartt School.

Describe your short and long term career plans. Please include:

A. What life experience(s) caused you to want to pursue the arts?
B. How do you perceive that The Hartt School will prepare you for your professional career?

 

University of Kansas

UK has changed their Choose one of three prompts for the Honors College

    1. When did you know?
    2. It has been said that there are two types of people. What are they? Which one are you?
    3. Write a letter to someone you consider to be a leader.

 

UC Boulder

UC Boulder has changed their required supplemental essay.

  • 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. (250-650 words)


  UMass Amherst

  • Please tell us why you want to attend UMass Amherst? (100 words)
  • Please tell us why you chose the Majors you did? (100 words)

 

UNC - Chapel Hill

UNC has the same require supplement as last year. Choose two of the prompt options, 200-250 words.

  • Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.
  • What do you hope will change about the place where you live?
  • What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?
  • What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?

 

University of Kentucky

Kentucky has updated Honors prompts this year as well as their admissions essay.

Personal Statement: 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? (250 - 600 words)

Honors 1: As industries shift and even collapse, areas of population density in America continue to change as the amount of available work in any given city ebbs and flows. What should the governmental response be to areas of economic devastation? If a town doesn’t have the jobs to employ its citizens, should the residents simply move? Should jobs be supplied in some manner? How do you see this process working in the future, and how do you imagine societal concepts of work and home might change because of these factors? (500 words)

Honors 2: In the original Jurassic Park film, Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum, says with emphasis, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Honors students often work tirelessly for change and innovation – but we also value thinking through ethical dilemmas, especially when there are no easy answers. What is a currently-emerging innovation or cultural shift that could be further developed but about which you feel a sense of conflict? Be sure to explain your position and articulate your distinct concerns. (500 words)

[new] Lewis Honors College & Competitive Academic Scholarships: If you were to create a new Mount Rushmore, what four individuals (or figures of any kind) would you place on it and why? And how and where would you create this monument?

[same] Parker Diversity Scholarship:  “Exposure to new ideas and beliefs carried by different members of our community challenges us to grow intellectually and socially, preparing us for the world beyond our campus.” – UK President Eli Capilouto 

Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates how you would contribute to the educational diversity at UK. (500 words)

SEAM Program: Industry requirements for the 21st century necessitate professionals to be well rounded in both problem solving and strategic business planning. How might you view the SEAM program assisting you in becoming part of these elite multidisciplinary leaders who are in such high demand? (100 words)

 

   University of Michigan

UMich has new supplements for Ross

  1. 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. (500 words)
  2. 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. (250 words)

 

  University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities has the same supplements as last year.

Required: Please include an explanation of why you would like to study the major(s) you have selected. You may also use this space to indicate your interest in other major(s) in the colleges listed above. (Maximum 150 words)

Optional: The University values diversity, broadly defined to include diversity of experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and talents. Enrolling a diverse community of scholars interested in learning with and from each other fosters discussion and discovery inside and outside of the classroom. Please share briefly how you might contribute to, or benefit from, our community of scholars. (150 words)

 

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame as changed the prompt options for their Choose 2 of 4 required essays.  The other required prompt remains the same.

REQUIRED [ same ]

What excites you about the University of Notre Dame that makes it stand out from other institutions? (200 words) .

 

REQUIRED [ new ]

Please provide responses to TWO (2) of the following questions (200 words):

    1. The founder of the University of Notre Dame, Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C., was only 28 when he established the University with the vision that it would become a "powerful means of doing good." We have always known that young people can be catalysts for change. What is one way that you have made an impact in your community?
    2. If you were to bring a new friend to your hometown and give them a personal tour, what is a meaningful place you would show them?
    3. Defend an unpopular opinion you hold.
    4. Many high schools have books that are required reading. Thinking beyond the common examples, what book do you believe should be on your school's reading list and why?

 

  University of Oregon

Oregon has a new Honors prompt.

Honors: The CHC faculty are involved in the review of applications to the Honors College, and are eager to learn about how you think, and how your mind works. Please write an essay that responds to one of the three quotations below. Reflect on how the quotation relates to your own experience, beliefs, and attitudes.
Select one of the three quotes listed below. (650 word maximum).

  1. Hannah Arendt: "Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable."
  2. Maya Angelou: "Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible."
  3. John Steinbeck: "I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.”

 

 

 University of Pennsylvania

Penn has a number of new essay prompts.

  • How did you discover your intellectual and academic interests, and how will you explore them at the University of Pennsylvania? Please respond considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected. (300-450 words)
  • At Penn, learning and growth happen outside of the classroom, 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)

Program specific prompts:

Computer and Cognitive Science: Artificial Intelligence: Why are you interested in the Computer & Cognitive Science: Artificial Intelligence program at the University of Pennsylvania? (400-650 words)

: Why are you interested in the Digital Media Design (DMD) program at the University of Pennsylvania? (400-650 words)

: The Huntsman Program supports the development of globally-minded scholars who become engaged citizens, creative innovators, and ethical leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in the United States and internationally. What draws you to a dual-degree program in business and international studies, and how would you use what you learn to make a contribution to a global issue where business and international affairs intersect? (400-650 words)

:

Explain how you will use the M&T program to explore your interest in business, engineering, and the intersection of the two. (400-650 words)

Describe a problem that you solved that showed leadership and creativity. (250 words) [ same]

: Describe your interests in modern networked information systems and technologies, such as the internet, and their impact on society, whether in terms of economics, communication, or the creation of beneficial content for society. Feel free to draw on examples from your own experiences as a user, developer, or student of technology. (400-650 words) [ same ]

: Discuss your interest in nursing and health care management. How might Penn's coordinated dual-degree program in nursing and business help you meet your goals? (400-650 words)[ same ]

:

  • Please list pre-dental or pre-medical experience. This experience can include but is not limited to observation in a private practice, dental clinic, or hospital setting; dental assisting; dental laboratory work; dental or medical research, etc. Please include time allotted to each activity, dates of attendance, location, and description of your experience. If you do not have any pre-dental or pre-medical experience, please indicate what you have done that led you to your decision to enter dentistry. [ same ]
  • List any activities which demonstrate your ability to work with your hands. [ same ]
  • What activities have you performed that demonstrate your ability to work cooperatively with people? [ same ]
  • Please explain your reasons for selecting a career in dentistry. Please include what interests you the most in dentistry as well as what interests you the least. [ same ]
  • Do you have relatives who are dentists or are in dental school? If so, indicate the name of each relative, his/her relationship to you, the school attended, and the dates attended.  [ same ]

: Describe your interests in energy science and technology drawing on your previous academic, research, and extracurricular experiences that allow you to appreciate the scientific or engineering challenges related to energy and sustainability. If you have previous experience with research, describe your research project (outlining the goals, hypotheses, approach, results, and conclusions). Describe how your experiences have shaped your research and interests, and identify how the VIPER program will help you achieve your goals. Also, please indicate which VIPER majors in both science and engineering are most interesting to you at this time. (400-650 words)

 

  University of Portland

Portland has the same supplemental prompts as last year, with a word count change on one of them.

Please tell us why you are applying to UP. [ word change]  (250 words)

Planned Career Goal (100 characters)

 

  University of Richmond

Richmond has the same prompt options as last year.

Instructions: Choose one of the following essay prompts:

  1. What is an urgent global challenge or social justice topic about which you are passionate? What solutions or outcomes do you hope to see?
  2. By the time you graduate from college, there will be jobs that don’t exist today. Describe one of them and how Richmond might prepare you for it.
  3. You are required to spend the next year in either the past or the future. To what year would you travel and why?

 

  University of Rochester

Rochester has changed their supplemental prompt.

The University of Rochester benefactor, entrepreneur, photography pioneer and philanthropist George Eastman said, “The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.” With that statement in mind, how will you use your University of Rochester experience to foster positive change in order to make the world, your community and those around you “ever better?” You may answer one of three ways:

  1. Essay Response: Write an analytical or creative response of 250 words or less.
  2. 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.” 
  3. 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.”

 

  University of San Diego

San Diego added a required supplement and removed one prompt from their Choose one essay.

  • 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. [ new ] 

Choose 1 of 3:

  1. 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 students come from all walks of life, have experienced very different realities and bring with them an array of unique perspectives. Some of these perspectives are underrepresented and underserved by higher education. What contribution have you made to your high school and/or local community that best exemplifies your awareness and commitment to creating a diverse and equitable community?
  2. USD is a proud Changemaker Campus, as designated by Ashoka U. As such, the USD experience emphasizes changemaking through civic engagement, social innovation and global perspective. If you had the opportunity to get involved with a project or organization that addresses a contemporary social issue, what issue would you address and why? 
  3. The year 2024 will mark USD’s 75th anniversary. In preparation for this milestone, we as a campus community are looking to grow in meaningful and impactful ways. We are looking to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. In what meaningful and impactful ways do you hope to grow by the year 2024? Where do you see yourself, and what type of impact do you hope to have on the world around you? 

 

University of San Francisco

San Francisco removed the second prompt option, providing a single, required essay topic this year.

Required essay: The University of San Francisco's Jesuit tradition emphasizes community engagement and education for social justice, inspiring our students to become passionate agents for others. How do you see yourself becoming a part of this mission? (200 words max)

 

  University of South Carolina

South Carolina has a new Choose 1 of 3

Respond to one of the personal statement prompts.

  1. Who in your life is depending on you? How are they depending on you?
  2. Tell us something about yourself that we have not already asked.
  3. What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

 

  University of Southern California

USC has made some changes to their supplements this year.  

Short Answers:

Answer the following:

  • Describe yourself in three words. First Word: (25 characters)
  • Second Word: (25 characters)
  • Third Word: (25 characters)
  • What is your favorite snack? (100 characters)
  • Best movie of all time: (100 characters)
  • Dream job: (100 characters)
  • If your life had a theme song, what would it be? (100 characters)
  • Dream trip: (100 characters)
  • What TV show will you binge watch next? (100 characters)
  • Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate? (100 characters)
  • Favorite book. (100 characters)
  • If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be? (100 characters)

 

Choose 1 of 3: (prompt changes)

  1. USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view. Please discuss the significance of the experience and its effect on you.  [wording change]
  2. USC faculty place an emphasis on interdisciplinary academic opportunities. Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.  [new]
  3. What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you? [same]
  • 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) [ same ]

 

  UT - Austin

UT Austin changed their three supplemental essays:

Instructions: All applicants must submit three required short answers and may submit one optional short answer responding to prompts in your admissions application. Answers are limited to no more than 40 lines, or about 250–300 words, typically the length of one paragraph.

REQUIRED [new]

    1. Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
    2. Leadership can be demonstrated in many ways. Please share how you have demonstrated leadership in either your school, job, community, and/or within your family responsibilities.
    3. Please share how you believe your experiences, perspectives, and/or talents have shaped your ability to contribute to and enrich the learning environment at UT Austin, both in and out of the classroom.

             OPTIONAL [same]
             Please share background on events or special circumstances that may have impacted your high school academic performance.

HONORS PROGRAMS:

Canfield Business Honors

Discuss a single piece of business news in the last year that has affected your view on the need for a high-quality business education, and tell us why this has affected or reinforced your desire for a business education. You do not need to go into detail about this piece of business news — a quick reference to the event will suffice. It can be something that occurred in your community, in the U.S., or internationally. Spend the majority of your response on how this event affected your views. Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.

Engineering Honors

An expanded résumé is recommended. 

Human Ecology Honors

Briefly describe why you have chosen to apply to the School of Human Ecology Honors Program, specifically Nutritional Sciences or Human Development and Family Sciences Honors. Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.

Liberal Arts Honors

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education." Explain why both are of equal importance, and in what ways will a Liberal Arts Honors interdisciplinary education help you grow in these areas? Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.

Moody College Honors

It has been said that knowledge is power, but it could also be said that communication is power. Discuss an example from history, current events, a book or film, or from your own life that supports this perspective. Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.

Natural Sciences Honors 

In 350 words or fewer, answer both of the following questions:

+ How will you benefit from participation in this community?

+ How will you contribute to this community?

Plan II Honors

Answer the following prompts:

What do you see as the largest problem facing society today? What do you see as the negative effects of this problem and how would an interdisciplinary education in Plan II Honors give you tools to begin to solve this challenge to the greater good? Please limit your response to no more than 250 words.

Help us get to know you better. Please write five sentences (numbered 1–5) that give us some insight into you, your life, your interests and your experiences. There are no right answers — feel free to be creative and think outside the box. 

Texas Honors Computer Science and Business (Texas CSB)​

Texas CSB is an innovative dual degree program looking for students who are dedicated to both computer science and business. Why do you see this as a powerful combination of skills for your career goals? What have you done in high school to prepare you for computer science and business course work? Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.

Turing Scholars

Describe your significant activities, employment, and achievements, particularly those relevant to the study of computer science. Also describe your educational and career goals. Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.

 

 

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has changed 2 of their 3 recommended supplements.  There is no required word limit, but they recommend 200-300 words.

  • Tell us about something you have read/watched/listened to that made an impact on you. Tell us why it made an impact. [ NEW ]
  • If you could create a new product, process, business, or organization, what would this entity look like? (We especially encourage applicants interested in the College of Business Administration or the Swanson School of Engineering to respond to this question.) [ SAME ]
  • What else should we know about you? Take this opportunity to tell the Admissions Committee anything else you think we should know as we review your application for admission. [ NEW ]

 

  University of Utah

Utah is accepting the Common App this year. The Common App personal statement is optional.  Utah has required essays for their Honors College and Business Scholars program.  For the Honors College, Utah is using the Common App prompts. 

Business Scholars: Exploration of and passion for the world of business are pivotal parts of being a Business Scholar. Describe a time in your life when you experienced something impactful, challenging, or new and how that experience encouraged you to be the person you are today. (no word count given)

 

University of Vermont

Vermont has the same 500-word supplement as last year.

Instruction: If you would like an opportunity to further present yourself to the Admissions Committee, you may submit a response to one of the following prompts with your application. Please limit your response to 500 words.

  1. Imagine it is the morning of August 28, 1963 and Twitter has already been developed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has contracted the flu. Rather than giving his historic “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, he instead sends out a Tweet that highlights the central point of his speech. What does he Tweet (in true Twitter fashion, no longer than 280 characters) and why?
  2. A time traveling connoisseur gives you a remote with two buttons: pause and rewind. Which would you prefer to use on your own life and why?
  3. Congratulations! You have been elected to give a TED Talk. You will give an 18-minute presentation on the topic of your choice to a room full of people who are eager to hear your insights. This talk will also be recorded and made available online, with the opportunity to go viral and affect millions. What is the title of your talk? What is the message you are trying to get across? What would you say in the final minute of the presentation that would leave a lasting impression? Explain.
  4. At the University of Vermont, we have a set of core values called Our Common Ground, which define how we work, live, study, do research, and participate as members of the community. Each core value statement falls under one of the following words: Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Openness, Justice, and Responsibility. Choose one word from Our Common Ground and explain why it is important to you, how it has impacted you, and how you have incorporated it into your life.
  5. Why UVM? 

 

University of Virginia

UVA has kept most of their essays the same.  One of the Choose one of 5 prompts have changed.

  • [OLD] - UVA students are charged with pushing the boundaries of knowledge to serve others and contribute to the common good. Give us an example of how you’ve used what you’ve learned to make a positive impact in another person’s life.
  • [NEW] - UVA students are charged with living honorably and upholding a Community of Trust. Give us an example of a community that is important to you and how you worked to strengthen that community.

 

University of Washington

University of Washington has two required essays and has changed the wording of one of the optional prompts.

REQUIRED [NEW}

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

Change of wording:

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

Honors essays:

Respond to the essay prompts using no more than 300 words each.

  1. What is your understanding of the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program and why do you want to be a part of it? [same]
  2. Consider at least two very different subjects you’ve studied in school; tell us how you imagine bringing those together in your first year at UW to engage with a pressing global concern. [new]

University of Wisconsin - Madison

  • 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). [ same]

 

   Vassar

Vassar has a new Why Us? supplement.

Why are you applying to Vassar? (Limit 350 words) 

 

Villanova

Villanova has three new prompts for their Choose 1 of 3 supplement.  (250-1000 words)

  1. In the spirit of Saint Augustine, we believe that everyone in the Villanova community learns from each other. What is a lesson that you have learned in your life so far that you will share with others?
  2. You may live in one of the busiest cities in all the world or come from a small town with just one traffic light. The place that you call home has probably shaped who you are in some way. Tell us about where you are from and what, from there, you will bring to Villanova.
  3. Please describe a choice for change that you have made in your life that has greatly affected your life or the lives of others.

 

Wake Forest

Wake Forest has made wording changes to two short answer questions and changed the prompts for four short essays.

Change of wording:

  • Tell us how a work of fiction you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity.
  • What piques your intellectual curiosity, and why?

Change of prompt:

  • As part of our “Voices of Our Time” series — which allows students, faculty, and staff to hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers — Wake Forest has hosted Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, Eboo Patel, and Thomas Friedman. If you could choose the next series speaker, whom would you pick, and why? (150 words)
  • At Wake Forest, we gather our students in “Calls to Conversation,” congregating small groups around dinner tables in faculty’s and administrators’ homes to discuss topics organized around a theme, for example “arts for social change,” “gender in society,” and “leading a meaningful life.” If you could design a theme for a “Call to Conversation,” what would you choose, and why? (150 words)
  • We live in an age intensely interested in heroes. Professor Joseph Campbell defined “hero” as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Describe a hero in public life and how and why, in your opinion, they meet Professor Campbell’s definition. (150 words)
  • We are all different, and our lived experiences — influenced by our culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or religion — shape our understanding of the world. How have your experiences shaped your development, and how do you plan to use those experiences to interact and engage with others who might be different from you within our Wake Forest Community? (no word limit)

 

  Washington & Lee

Washington & Lee change their optional supplemental prompts.  Both scholarship program essays remain the same.

[ new] Please describe how you have familiarized yourself with Washington and Lee University and what aspects of W&L's community are most exciting to you. (250 words)

[ new]  Please describe an aspect of your life outside of school that is important to you, such as an extracurricular activity, a job or a family responsibility. How does your involvement impact you and those around you? (250 words)

 

Johnson Scholarship Program: Choose 1 of 5 (800 words max)

  1. Creating an environment of dignity and opportunity for everyone can be difficult to execute fully and requires constant cultivation. Reflect on a time when a group or community of which you are a part was challenged by its members’ disparate perspectives or experiences. What role did you play as a leader or member of the group in that situation? What did you learn from the experience?
  2. What I want to hear after a Spring Term course is that ‘This class changed my life.’ ” (Marc Conner, Ballengee Professor of English and Interim Provost). W&L’s Spring Term is a four week, intensive experience during which students take only one course, allowing for undivided attention to the subject matter. Spring Term courses are known for innovative pedagogy, interdisciplinary scholarship, travel, and field work in diverse settings. If you could design a Spring Term course, what would you propose, and why would you choose to pursue that topic?
  3. ''If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree…and if it means I must prepare to shoulder burdens with a worried air…I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!'' In the song ''I Won't Grow Up'' from 1954's Broadway production of Peter Pan, Peter is averse to the prospect of adulthood and adamant about remaining a boy. What are you most reluctant to leave behind and/or eager to embrace as you move into adulthood?
  4. In mathematics, the shortest distance between two points on a flat surface is a straight line. While geometry is predictable, sometimes day to day life is not. Reflect on a time when your path was not as simple or direct as anticipated. How did you manage, and what did you learn?
  5. 'To promote literature in this rising empire and to encourage the arts, have ever been amongst the warmest wishes of my heart.'' (George Washington, 1798, first president of the United States and first major benefactor of Washington and Lee University) Describe a work of art that has influenced you, and discuss the impact it has had on you.

Weinstein Scholarship (250 words max)

The Weinstein Scholarship recognizes an entering Jewish first-year student with an exemplary academic and extracurricular record who intends to become involved in Washington and Lee's vibrant Jewish Community. If you wish to be considered for this award please submit a statement describing your background and your interest in Jewish life at W&L. 

 

Washington University in St. Louis

WashU has the same supplement as last year with new word counts.

Essay: [same with word count change] Tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity and compels you to explore more. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit. (300 words) (Note: applicants who are applying to the Beyond Boundaries program will not write this prompt as there is a different prompt for the program)

Beyond Boundaries Program Essay: [same with word count change] You indicated an interest in the Beyond Boundaries program on your application for admission. The Beyond Boundaries Program will help talented, self-initiated, and self-motivated students become creative problem solvers and insightful scholars who are prepared to pursue their own broad interdisciplinary interests. This unique educational experience requires collaboration across academic disciplines and perspectives, drawing on the strength and interconnectedness of the university’s seven schools. After their first year, students are able to seamlessly transition into any of WashU’s undergraduate schools while they continue engaging with the Beyond Boundaries Program. For more information, visit beyondboundaries.wustl.edu.

Many of our students broadly explore the connections of our schools and community before declaring a major. The Beyond Boundaries Program equips students to make a difference in a complicated world where challenges do not come pre-packaged as the territory of a single discipline. Tell us what great challenge you might want to explore and how you would pursue a solution in an interdisciplinary way. (300 words) (Note: applicants only need to write this essay if they are applying to the Beyond Boundaries program)

 

  Wesleyan

We have added the portfolio prompt for Wesleyan's Hamilton Prize.

The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize is a four year full tuition scholarship established in honor of Hamilton writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 and director Thomas Kail '99.To be eligible for the prize you must apply for Admission to Wesleyan University and submit a sample of creative written expression. You must submit your portfolio by the deadline of January 1st, 2018 for your portfolio to be reviewed by the Hamilton Prize for Creativity judging committee.

Examples of acceptable submissions include:

Prose: We will accept 5-8 pages consisting of a single short story, excerpt of a longer piece of fiction (novella, novel, other written works), or literary non-fiction.

Poetry: 3-5 poems with a maximum of 8 pages total.

Drama: Written expression of a one act play or the first act of a full-length play using standard play script format.

Slam Poetry: 3-5 poems with a maximum of 8 pages total. You must submit written expression, but may also include supplemental supporting materials. For example, feel free to include a video or audio recording of your performance of the original poetry.

Song lyrics: 3-5 songs with a maximum of 8 pages total. You must submit the written expression, but may also include supplemental supporting materials. For example, you may choose to include a sample of the songs accompanied by music or a musical score.

Screenplay: A script for a short film with a maximum of 10 minutes, 15 pages total, or no more than the first 15 pages of a longer or feature-length film using a standard script format. You must submit the written expression, but may also include a film clip to accompany your submission.

Other Creative Work: You may submit a maximum of 8 pages of any creative written work that does not fit into the genres and descriptions listed above. Other work must meet the spirit of boldness, innovation, and experimentation exhibited in Hamilton.

All written work should be 12-point Times New Roman font.

 

  Willamette University

Willamette has the same short prompt as last year.

[Required] What was the single most influential reason you applied to Willamette? (250 characters)

 

  Williams College

Williams has the same multiple-choice prompt as last year.

Instructions: Please respond to one of the prompts below in a short essay of 300 words or fewer.

  1. Every first-year student at Williams lives in an Entry—a thoughtfully constructed microcosm of the student community that’s a defining part of the Williams experience. From the moment they arrive, students find themselves in what’s likely the most diverse collection of backgrounds, perspectives and interests they’ve ever encountered. What might differentiate you from the other first-year students in an entry? What perspective(s) would you add to the conversation with your peers?
  2. Each Sunday night, in a tradition called Storytime, students, faculty and staff gather to hear a fellow community member relate a brief story from their life (and to munch on the storyteller’s favorite homemade cookies). What story would you share? What lessons have you drawn from that story, and how would those lessons inform your time at Williams?
  3. At Williams we believe that bringing together students and professors in small groups produces extraordinary academic outcomes. Our distinctive Oxford-style tutorial classes—in which two students are guided by a professor in deep exploration of a single topic—are a prime example. Each week the students take turns developing independent work—an essay, a problem set, a piece of art—and critiquing their partner’s work. Focused on close reading, writing and oral defense of ideas, more than 60 tutorials a year are offered across the curriculum, with titles like Aesthetic Outrage, Financial Crises: Causes and Cures, and Genome Sciences: At the Cutting Edge. Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be your partner in the class, and why?

 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI has changed the wording of their supplemental prompt.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute seeks students who are the right fit for its academic and campus community. In what ways are you the right fit for the distinctive educational and campus experience that Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers?

 

Main Application Essays

 Common Application

The Common Application personal statement has the same prompts as last year. 

  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. 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, 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

The Coalition Application has changed their word count requirements.  They recommend 500-550 words, but there is no specific word limit.

  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 teenager 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.

 

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