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2011-2012 College Admissions Essays

Tue, Aug 02, 2011 @ 05:17 PM

Quirkiest College Admissions Essay Questions

College Application EssaysWith the Common Application and Universal Application releasing their respective 2011-2012 editions this week, along with several schools releasing updated supplements, the college application season has officially kicked off.  College admissions officers may read hundreds of applications and while a student’s “hard factors” including grades, transcripts, and standardized test scores, don’t leave much room for interpretation, a student’s “soft factors,” such as letters of recommendation, interviews, and resume give each applicant an opportunity to let their personality shine through.

An applicant’s college admissions essay and personal statement in particular, allow the application reader to picture the student as a living, breathing human being.  When reading an essay, the admissions board will try to determine: Who are you? Will you make a valuable contribution to your future campus community? What type of character traits do you possess? Are you responsible? Shy? Creative? A Leader? A nonconformist?  Some colleges take a particularly creative approach to the application essay prompt with the hopes that students will reply in kind. Here are some of the quirkiest college admissions essay questions that we’ve come across this year:

  • Why did you do it? (Tufts University)

  • Celebrate your nerdy side. (Tufts University)

  • If you could choose to be raised by robots, dinosaurs, or aliens, who would you pick? Why? (Brandeis University)

  • Your life is being made into a reality TV show. What will it be called, and why will people watch? (American University)

  • What does Play-Doh™ have to do with Plato? (University of Chicago)

  • Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote, “Between living and dreaming there is a third thing. Guess it.” Give us your guess. (University of Chicago)

  • Make a rational argument for a position you do not personally support. For clarity, please state your true opinion first and then argue the opposite position. (Wake Forest University)

  • Give us your top ten list. (Wake Forest University)

  • BU has recently been named among the top 300 Green Colleges in the US. How do you see yourself contributing to BU's sustainability initiative? (Boston University)

Read part 2 for even more quirky college admissions essay questions.

Sarah Shanahan

Written by Sarah Shanahan

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