• College Application Extra-Credit Essay Prompts

    From Eduers.com


    The [24] college application essay prompts (below) have been used by various universities in recent years. 


    1.What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has influenced your thinking, and in what way? (University of Virginia applicants to the College of Arts and Sciences)


    2.Discuss how a particular work of music, literature, or art has inspired your life. (William and Mary)


    3.Tell us how a particular book, play, film, piece of music, dance performance, scientific theory or experiment or work of art has influenced you. If you choose a novel, film or play, assume we know the plot. (University of Notre Dame)


    4.Consider the books you have read in the last year or two either for school or for leisure. Please discuss the way in which one of them changed your understanding of the world,other people, or yourself. (Duke University)


    5.Tell us about a situation where you have not been successful and what you have learned from the experience. (William and Mary)


    6.First experiences can be defining. Cite a first experience that you have had and explain its impact on you. (University of Pennsylvania)


    7.Recall an occasion when you took a risk that you now know was the right thing to do. (University of Pennsylvania)


    8.Tell us what you think about a current scientific or social controversy. (William and Mary)


    9.Most people belong to many different communities- groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. Limit your response to half a page, or approximately 250 words. (University of Virginia all applicants)


    10.What can you contribute to a multi-cultural world? (William and Mary)


    11.The quality of Rice's academic life and the residential college system is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will be able to share with others as a result of your own life experiences and background? Cite a personal experience to illustrate this. Most applicants are able to respond successfully in two to three pages. (Rice University)


    12.Northwestern is a community of individuals from diverse cultures and regions of the world and with a myriad of interests and talents. Is there a type of individual you have not had much contact with in your community whom you would like to meet on campus? What do you think would be the outcome of that meeting, and what would be its effect on you? (Northwestern)


    13.Respond to the question: How can I prepare educationally for a global society? (Hampton University)


    14.Once you have completed your education, would you return to your hometown to begin your adult life? Why or why not? (William and Mary)


    15.Names have a mysterious reality of their own. We may well feel an unexpected kinship with someone who shares our name, or may feel uneasy at the thought that our name is not as much our own as we imagined. Most of us do not choose our names; they come to us unbidden, sometimes with ungainly sounds and spellings, complicated family histories, allusions to people we never knew. Sometimes we have to make our peace with them, sometimes we bask in our names' associations. Ruminate on names and naming, your name, and your name's relationship to you. (University of Chicago)


    16.The late William Burroughs once wrote that "language is a virus from outer space." We at the University of Chicago think he's right, of course, and this leaves us wondering what else came here with it. Could this finally explain such improbable features of modern life as the Federal Tax Code, non-dairy creamer, Dennis Rodman, and the art of mime? Name something that you assert cannot have originated any other way. Offer a thorough defense of your hypothesis for extraterrestrial origins, including alternate explanations and reasons for eliminating them from consideration. (University of Chicago)


    17.What effect has any voluntary or independent research, reading or study, work in the arts, science project, etc. (outside of school), had on your intellectual and personal growth in recent years? Discuss what influence this involvement has had on your academic goals. (Northwestern)


    18.What has been your most profound or surprising intellectual experience? (Duke University)


    19.Anatole France said, "If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." On what subject do you disagree with most people, and why? (Northwestern)


    20.According to Stephen Carter, we can admire those with integrity even if we disagree with them. Are there people you admire even though you deeply disagree with them? What do you admire about them? How do you reconcile this apparent contradiction in your assessment? (Duke University)


    21.Who is the secondary school teacher who has had the greatest positive impact on your development? Please describe the ways in which this teacher has influenced you. (Bowdoin College)

    22.Reflect on these words of Dorothy Day: "No one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless. There's too much work to do." What is "the work to be done" for your generation, and what impact does this have on your future as a leader? Write a creative, reflective, or provocative essay. (University of Notre Dame)


    23.Read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." It can be found in several anthologies, most recently King Remembered (W.W Norton & Company, 1986). Drawing upon personal experience, write a creative, reflective or provocative essay. (University of Notre Dame)


    24.What characteristics of Penn, and yourself, make the University a particularly good match for you? Briefly describe how you envision your first year in college. How will your presence be known on campus? (University of Pennsylvania)



Last Modified on January 15, 2015