The University of Chicago, located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, is a private research institution that ranks #3 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities.
If you’re working on your University of Chicago application, you know getting into UChicago is no simple task — the class of 2020 had an acceptance rate of 7.9%. The writing supplements can be a challenge to tackle because of their open-ended and creative nature. This post will help guide you through all of the University of Chicago’s essay prompts.
Read on to understand how to tackle Chicago’s unique application essay prompts for 2017-2018.
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.
Like many other schools, UChicago asks applicants to answer what is essentially a question asking, “Why do you specifically want to attend this school?” This is a common prompt at many top schools, and it is what we like to call an “essay of elimination.” By itself, the “Why School X?” essay rarely gets a candidate into a school, as it is really difficult to write an answer to this question that is truly unique and meaningful.
Instead, schools like UChicago use this application to separate the candidates who are truly passionate about attending the school (it has too many strong applicants for a limited number of spots in the incoming freshman class). That’s why a poorly written or mediocre “Why UChicago?” essay can keep you out, even if a great one cannot get you in.
And the only way to actually mess up this question, beyond obvious errors, like making grammar mistakes or saying something offensive, is if you don’t write an essay that is specifically about the University of Chicago.
Generic statements like “I’m excited to spend the next four years in Chicago,” “UChicago students have a tight knit community,” or “the campus is beautiful” — that apply to dozens of colleges around the country — should be avoided. The university wants to know that you want to specifically attend it, not just that you want to attend any Top 15 university in the United States. Specificity is key.
We hope this helps and we will be continuing this post with some other helpful tips for the rest of the UChicago app! Connect with us if you have any last minute questions!