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2017-18 Quirky College Application Essay Prompts

Wed, Aug 02, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

creative application essay prompts.jpgStudents Need to Get Creative With These Unusual College Essay Prompts

It’s that time of year again! The 2017-18 Common Application is open, and now's the time for the class of 2022 to start on their college application essays and supplements – which can sometimes include weird and unusual essay prompts and short answer questions.

In addition to the Common Application essay (or the Coalition application essay), colleges will often require additional essays within their school-specific supplements. These essays can be as general as “Why do you want to attend X University?” However, many schools will also include quirky college application essay prompts or short answer questions as a way to get to know applicants better.

Supplemental essays are important because, not only do they help students demonstrate their knowledge of school, but they also help students reveal information that the university might not otherwise gather from other parts of the application. They can also give students the opportunity to show why that institution or major is a good fit for them, and vice versa.

Colleges have been coming up with unusual and quirky essay prompts for years now, with some prompts getting stranger each application season! These unusual essay prompts may seem silly at first, but they offer applicants a great opportunity to set themselves apart.

Here are some quirky and unusual supplement questions and essay prompts from this year’s college applications: 

In Love Medicine, author Louise Erdrich ’76 writes, ''Society is like this card game here, cousin. We got dealt our hand before we were even born, and as we grow we have to play as best as we can.'' Describe your ''hand'' and reflect on how you have played it. (Dartmouth College)

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (Stanford University)

Short Answer: Hashtag to describe yourself (University of Southern California)

Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History... a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here: https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/academics/majors-minors-Inspired by Josh Kaufman, Class of 2018 (University of Chicago)

What do you hope will change about the place where you live? (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)

For whom are you responsible? (University of Notre Dame)

UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message? (University of Virginia)

"Become what you are not yet" - Saint Augustine
When you daydream, who do you hope to become in the future? (Villanova University)

You have a popular podcast. What’s the title? What’s the topic? (Wake Forest University)

You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called? (Yale University)

Are you ready to get started on your college application essays? For more information on how IvyWise can help you with your essays and supplements, contact us today.

Christine: Be Genuine in Your College Applications from IvyWise on Vimeo.

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