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  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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  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 or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Please write an essay (250-650 words) on the topic selected. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source



In addition to the essay you are writing as part of the Common Application, Amherst requires a supplementary writing sample from all applicants. To satisfy Amherst’s supplementary writing requirement, you may choose eitherOption A or Option B. 

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. Optional Research Questions

    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.)

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



One way Babson defines itself is through the notion of creating great economic and social value everywhere. How do you define yourself and what is it about Babson that excites you?

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.



In 250 words or less, how do you imagine yourself living and learning at Bard?

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A. 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)

B. 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)

C. Alumna and writer Anna Quindlen says that she “majored in unafraid” at Barnard. Tell us about a time when you majored in unafraid. (100-250 words)


What draws you to Bates? Consider the Bates Mission Statement (below) in your response (1-2 paragraphs). 

Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion—Amore ac Studio—we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.

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We would like to get a better sense of you. Please select one of the questions below and write an essay of 400 words or less providing your response.

1. Human beings have a creative side that tends to shine most when we are truly invested in the world around us. Describe a situation when you responded effectively to a particular need and found yourself at your creative best.

2. Experience teaches us the importance of being reflective when making major decisions. Share an example from a recent event when a leader or an average person faced a difficult choice. What were the consequences of the decision? Would you have done the same?

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 stresses the importance of the liberal arts and sciences, character formation, commitment to the common good, and living a meaningful life. How do you think your personal goals and academic interests will help you grow both intellectually and personally during college?


In no more than 250 words, please tell us why BU is a good fit for you and what specifically has led you to apply for admission.

Additional Information (optional): Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.

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How did you first learn about Bowdoin?
(Limit 140 characters.)

In an effort to understand your interests and aspirations for college, we ask you to select one of the three topics below and provide a response of up to 250 words. 

Bowdoin students and alumni often cite world-class faculty and opportunities for intellectual engagement, the College's commitment to the Common Good, and the special quality of life on the coast of Maine as important aspects of the Bowdoin experience. 

Reflecting on your own interests and experiences, please select and respond to one of the following topics: Intellectual Engagement The Common Good Connection to Place Select

  • Intellectual Engagement
  • The Common Good
  • Connection to Place

Please enter your essay below.
(Limit 250 words)

Words entered: 0

If there is additional information you feel will support your application, you are welcome to include it here.

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If you would like to submit a resume, please upload it below.

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If you have selected the Test Flexible option and are going to submit a graded analytical paper, please upload it below.

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For International Students Only 
Brandeis attracts students from many corners of the world. As an international student at Brandeis, how would you enrich the campus community? (250 words or fewer)

Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)

Why Brown? (150 word limit)

Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)

We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 word limit)




The Bryn Mawr Honor Code and Self-Government Association (SGA) affirm the importance of our academic and social communities. In your response please reflect on how you see the Honor Code and/or SGA shaping your experience at Bryn Mawr.

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Please list three books, along with their authors, that have been particularly meaningful to you. For each book, please include a sentence explaining their influence upon you (200 characters max). Please note that your response is not limited to math, science or school-assigned texts.

Book 1:

Influence upon you (200 characters max):

Book 2:

Influence upon you (200 characters max):

Book 3:

Influence upon you (200 characters max):

Members of the Caltech community live, learn, and work within an Honor System with one simple guideline; 'No member shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.' While seemingly simple, questions of ethics, honesty and integrity are sometimes puzzling. Share a difficult situation that has challenged you. What was your response, and how did you arrive at a solution? (200 word max)    

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Caltech students have long been known for their quirky sense of humor, whether it be through planning creative pranks, building elaborate party sets, or even the year-long preparation that goes into our annual Ditch Day. Please describe an unusual way in which you have fun. (200 word max)

n an increasingly global and interdependent society, there is a need for diversity in thought, background, and experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech's community? (200 word max)    

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Scientific exploration clearly excites you. Beyond our 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio and our intense focus on research opportunities, how do you believe Caltech will best fuel your intellectual curiosity and help you meet your goals? (500 word max)

If you need additional space, please explain using the upload function button below. Please do not attach a resume or upload research papers. Caltech will email you an application confirmation with information on how to upload research papers through your student portal.

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When did you first learn of Carleton? (no more than 150 words)

Why are you applying to Carleton? (no more than 150 words)

Carleton is powered by wind turbines. What empowers you? (no more than 150 words)


Now, for a bit of fun…

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see the word (word association - just a few words)






Please submit a one page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. For freshmen applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program to which you are applying. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and program, your essay can impact our final decision. Candidates applying for early decision or transfer may apply to only one college and department.

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List the books (if any) you've read this year for pleasure. Choose one and in a sentence describe its impact on you.

If there was an interruption during your secondary school or collegiate experience or between your secondary school and collegiate experience (gap year(s)) when you were not enrolled and as a result, not making normal academic progress, please explain the reason for the interruption.

While not a requirement, have you been interviewed by an alumni or on campus representative prior to applying for admission? If so, indicate the name of your interviewer and tell us how it impacted your decision to apply. (500 word maximum.)



What influenced you the most in your decision to apply to CMC? Please limit your response to no more than 200 words.

Would you like to receive information about the U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC)?



No Questions-




In addition to your personal statement, Colgate requires a supplemental short-answer essay. Please respond, in 250 words or less, to one of the following prompts: 

1. The Mission Statement for Colgate University sets forth 13 Goals for a Colgate Education. One goal for Colgate students is listed as: Be engaged citizens and strive for a just society: embrace the responsibilities to local, national, and global communities; use their influence for the benefit of others. Please describe how you would embrace this goal as a Colgate student.

2. Colgate prides itself in tradition. Please describe a religious, cultural, or family tradition you can share with the Colgate community. 

3. We want to get to know you better. What are three words that your best friend would use to describe you and why? 

4. Colgate’s core curriculum teaches students empathy, informed debate, and critical thinking. Please tell us what book or piece of literature you believe is important for the entire Colgate Class of 2021 to read. Why?

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An optional one-page resume or activity sheet may be added to your application for Colgate University.

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How did you learn about Colorado College and why do you wish to attend? (no more than 500 words)   

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. (no more than 500 words)



What aspect of the Columbia community, outside of the classroom, would you most want to impact and why? (150 words or less)    

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)

List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)  

List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or less)

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

Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less)

Professional Arts Resume

If you are submitting a professional resume for Architecture, Creative Writing or Film Studies, please upload it here. Please review our instructions on supplementary materialsand note that submission is not required.

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Research Abstract

If you have 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), upload your abstract here. Please note that research abstracts are typically one page in length and encompass a brief synopsis of your work. Kindly review our instructions on supplementary materialsand note that submission is not required.

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No Supplements.

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 The questions for this college are not yet ready for completion



While the writing supplement is optional for admission consideration, it is required for merit scholarship. Early Decision candidates are strongly encouraged to complete the writing supplement. Please indicate whether you intend to complete a writing supplement. If you will not be completing the writing question, please select No here and submit this form as-is. The writing supplement essay question is: Why have you chosen to apply to Dickinson?

Why have you chosen to apply to Dickinson?

If you elect to submit the writing supplement, please write as much or as little as you feel is necessary to fully answer the question. There is no recommended minimum or maximum word count (the technical limit of 800 words is simply meant to provide more than enough space)


Writing Supplement essays not required.



(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, your sexual orientation or gender identity, 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)

Duke University Nondiscrimination Statement

Please share any additional information that you would like the Earlham Admissions Committee to know about your interests, personality, aspirations, etc. that may not be easily discernible from your academic record or list of activities.  

Why do you think Earlham is a good fit for you?

The questions for Emory University are not yet ready for completion. Thank you for your patience as Emory University and The Common Application finalize these questions. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take to make progress on your application:


[Optional] On September 27, 1777 Lancaster served as the nation's capital for a single day. If you could do anything or be anyone for one single day, what would you do? (150 word limit)   

[Optional] Why F&M? (100 word limit)

Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? (max 150 words)  

Please choose ONE of the following questions and provide an answer in 150 words or less. Tech’s motto is Progress and Service. We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family. And how you seen evidence of your impact on them? Students are often told what classes they should take. If you had the opportunity to create a class, what would it be and why? We challenge our students to 'be comfortable being uncomfortable'. Tell us about a time in high school that you felt outside of your comfort zone and the resolution. Select

  • Tech’s motto is Progress and Service. We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family. And how you seen evidence of your impact on them?
  • Students are often told what classes they should take. If you had the opportunity to create a class, what would it be and why?
  • We challenge our students to 'be comfortable being uncomfortable'. Tell us about a time in high school that you felt outside of your comfort zone and the resolution.


 No Supplement questions.


Leadership - Describe one or more examples of leadership experience in which you have significantly influenced others or contributed to the success of a group over time. The experience(s) you describe may be in or out of school.    

Creativity/specialized knowledge or skill - Describe a special interest that you have which makes you proud. Explain how you have demonstrated creativity in that area or developed a special talent or skill.    

Dealing with adversity - Describe a significant challenge that you have had to face, the steps you took to address the challenge, and what you learned about yourself in the process.    

Community service - What experiences have you had that contribute to making your community a better place in which to live? Mention specific projects or initiatives and outcomes.    

Environmental awareness - Do you feel that the environmental liberal arts focus at Green Mountain College is a good fit for your interests? Why?   

Goal accomplishment - Describe one or more specific goals that you set for yourself and how you demonstrated diligence and a strong work ethic to accomplish the goal(s).    

If you submit the Insight Portfolio questions you must submit a Graded Writing Sample - your graded writing sample should be a strong example of your writing ability. We are looking for depth of thought, careful analysis and sound mechanics. Your writing sample should have been written and graded within the last two years and include your teacher's comments. Examples: research paper, position paper, literary or historical analysis, creative writing piece, etc.

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While the primary criteria for admission to Hamilton are academic achievement, intellectual promise and community engagement, Hamilton also seeks to admit candidates who are a good fit with the programs and experiences offered by the College. Please take this opportunity to tell us about your interest in Hamilton and, particularly, why you believe it is a place where you can thrive. Be open. Be honest. Be brief. (250 word maximum)  

Hamilton's short-answer essay, while optional, is strongly encouraged. You are welcome to move on without answering it, but please confirm that is your intention and that this section is completed to your satisfaction. I have completed my Hamilton short-answer essay. I do not intend to answer this optional question. Select

  • I have completed my Hamilton short-answer essay.
  • I do not intend to answer this optional question.
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What influenced you to apply to Harvey Mudd College? What about the HMC curriculum and community appeals to you? Please limit your response to 500 words.    


What influenced you to apply to Harvey Mudd College? What about the HMC curriculum and community appeals to you? Please limit your response to 500 words.    

Please select one of the two prompts to answer. Please limit your response to 500 words Choice 1:  “Scientific research is a human endeavor.  The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families.  The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” - Dr. Clifton Poodry - How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve? Choice 2: What is one thing we won't know about you after reading your application? Select

  • Choice 1: “Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” - Dr. Clifton Poodry - How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve?
  • Choice 2: What is one thing we won't know about you after reading your application?

Based on your selection above, please provide your essay response here.    

Optional: You may include examples of mathematical or scientific endeavors or research abstracts if relevant. Please limit your submission to two pages. Hint: A .pdf file under 500 KB in size will be accepted.

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  • 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 questions:

    1. 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? Please limit your response to 250 words.    

    2. 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.    






What specific plan do you have, if any, for using the education you hope to receive.




Please upload a PDF of your most recent resume/CV.

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The writing supplement for this college is not yet ready for completion. Thank you for your patience as the college and The Common Application finalize this supplement. 




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Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests (academic, extracurricular, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.) and how you will build upon them here. 

(300-500 Word limit)



In 500 words or fewer, please explain how Kalamazoo College’s approach to education will help you explore your ideas and interests both inside and outside of the classroom



Kenyon College is a community that values diversity and welcomes students from many different backgrounds. We recognize that not all students embrace the gender binary options provided on the Common Application. If your gender identity does not fall within the binary, what pronouns would you like us to use during the admissions process when communicating with your parents/guardians, your school, etc. (ex. they/them/their, he/him/his, ze/zir/zir)?




Education is a social good. At Knox, we believe that knowledge is meant to be shared, tested through experience, revised, and shared again. It is a communal tool, an endlessly renewable resource, a force for change. Who or what motivated you to explore Knox? Why are you compelled to join this human-powered community? (125-300 words)




Students identify Lafayette as an excellent fit for countless reasons. In your response, be deliberate and specific about your motivation for applying to Lafayette. 

Why Lafayette? (20-200 words)   

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). 
The response to this question is optional.

If you wish to include a copy of your resume as part of your application, please upload it here.

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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. 

Prompt 1
In his 2015 Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si’, in which he addresses climate change and our collective responsibility to care for our “common home,” Pope Francis , S.J., observes that, “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods.”

Prompt 1 question: 
Much has been written about the environmental implications of climate change, but less about the distribution of goods or the social, economic, and political implications. Which one of these less studied aspects of climate change seems to you most worrisome for our “common home,” and why?

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.

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. 

Select the prompt you would like to address: Prompt 1 - Which one of these less studied aspects of climate change seems to you most worrisome for our “common home,” and why? Prompt 2 - Please talk about a situation that demanded critical thinking from you, and how your choices or decisions integrated intelligence and character. Prompt 3 - Please give an example of someone you know, other than your teachers and parents, who works for justice for the least of their neighbors. Select

  • Prompt 1 - Which one of these less studied aspects of climate change seems to you most worrisome for our “common home,” and why?
  • Prompt 2 - Please talk about a situation that demanded critical thinking from you, and how your choices or decisions integrated intelligence and character.
  • Prompt 3 - Please give an example of someone you know, other than your teachers and parents, who works for justice for the least of their neighbors.

How did you first learn about Macalester?

  • Application forms like this often require people to uncomfortably categorize their race, ethnicity, gender, or other identities by checking boxes. Is there anything about your (or your family’s) background that you would like us to know that is not addressed elsewhere in your application? If so, please elaborate.
  • Has there been a significant fluctuation in your grades at any point during grades 9-12 (up or down)? If so, please tell us the reason(s) for the changes.
  • Macalester is a community that includes people from many different backgrounds, some who have lived around the world and others who have lived in one place their entire lives. Please write an essay about how your background, experiences, or outlook might add to the Mac community, academically and personally. (250-500 words)

We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. We are particularly interested in knowing what motivated you to apply to NYU and more specifically, why you have 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 tell us why you are interested in each of the campuses, schools, colleges, or programs to which you have applied. You may be focused or undecided, or simply open to the options within NYU's global network; regardless, we want to understand - Why NYU? (400 word maximum)









Northwestern Statement (completion strongly recommended): 

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. 

Do you plan to complete the Northwestern Statement?
(We HIGHLY recommend you complete this essay.) Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No
  • (300 word maximum)




Short Essay (250 word maximum)
How did your interest in Oberlin develop and what aspects of our college community most excite you?    

For Home Schooled Applicants 
Provide a copy of a recently written academic paper. Papers do not need to be lengthy, but should be a typical example of your written work. Graded copies are preferred. A recent scientific laboratory report is welcome as an example of an academic paper.

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For Home Schooled Applicants
Upload a copy of your academic portfolio, a detailed syllabus that lists the subjects studied each year, the dates each subject was studied, a description of each course of study, major texts used or literature read, and evidence of science laboratory experiences.

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Do you plan to submit materials to demonstrate your diverse talents and co-curricular projects through SlideRoom? You can submit art work, research abstracts, videos or other materials. This is a separate submission you do after submitting your Common Application to Pitzer. All SlideRoom materials must be submitted by the application deadline for Early Decision applicants and by January 15th for Regular Decision applicants.


At Pitzer College, five core values distinguish our approach to education: social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement, and environmental sustainability. As agents of change, our students utilize these values to create solutions to our world's challenges. Please choose from the following prompts and answer below:

Incorporating one or more of our core values, how would you contribute to solving a local or global issue of importance to you?

Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one or more of Pitzer's core values?

Please respond to your selected prompt here (650 words)


Most Pomona students enter the College undecided about a major, or they change their minds about their prospective major by the time they graduate. Certainly we aren’t going to hold you to any of the choices you’ve made above. But please do tell us why you’ve chosen the major or majors (or Undecided!) that you have (in no more than 250 words).   

Please respond to one of the following three prompts:

Prompt 1: Each year, the Pomona Student Union hosts a “Great Debate.” Thought leaders with opposing views on a certain issue are invited to make their case in front of the student body. What is an issue that you think has two or more sides and what views would be important to capture in order to understand the nuances of the debate? Why do you think it would be important for the Pomona student body to be exposed to this debate?

Prompt 2: Tell us about a subject that you couldn't stop exploring, a book you couldn't put down, or a Wikipedia rabbit hole you dove into. Why did it fascinate you?

Prompt 3: Pomona has a long history of bringing together students of diverse backgrounds who want to push intellectual limits and who want to engage in a community that values difference. Write about a time when you were aware of your difference. How did it change you and what did you learn from the experience?

Please upload a response to your selected prompt here:

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In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no fewer than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application.

1. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.

“One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions.” Omar Wasow, Assistant Professor, Politics; Co-Founder, This quote is taken from Professor Wasow’s January 2014 speech at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Princeton University.

3. “ Princeton in the Nation’s Service” was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded in 2016 to “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton’s president from 1902–1910.

“Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and director of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, Princeton University.

5. Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.

Please enter your selected essay here:    

Extracurricular Activity or Work Experience

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words)   


Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words)   

A Few Details

Your favorite book and its author:

Your favorite movie:

Your favorite website:

Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you:

Your favorite recording:

Your favorite keepsake or memento:

Your favorite source of inspiration:

Your favorite word:

Your favorite line from a movie or book and its title:

Additional Information (Optional)

Please attach a document if you wish to provide details of circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application.

Hint: File should be under 500 KB and one of these types: .pdf .doc .docx .rtf .txt.



All students applying to RISD are required to submit a portfolio containing 12-20 examples of their best work. For more information about the portfolio requirements, pleaseclick here



Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit)    

With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)   

How did you first learn about Rice University, and what motivated you to apply? (250 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.

Please select your preferred method of submission: Upload now via Common Application Upload later via your Rice Admission Student Portal Select

  • Upload now via Common Application
  • Upload later via your Rice Admission Student Portal

By typing my name in the space provided, I certify that I will, if admitted, abide by and support the Honor System at Rice University.




The Artist Statement is a required part of your application to SAIC but applicants can choose to submit it via the Common App below or as part of their Slideroom submission. Please confirm how you will be submitting your Artist Statement.

Please complete this required question.

 I will be submitting via the Common Application below. I will be submitting via my Slideroom submission. Select

  • I will be submitting via the Common Application below.
  • I will be submitting via my Slideroom submission.

Writing is a vital component of being an artist, and an extremely important part of being a student at SAIC. Tell us about you, your art-making practices, and why you are a strong candidate for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) undergraduate program. 

Include information about what inspires you, what does your artistic process look like, share why you are interested in and utilize certain materials, exhibitions in which you have participated, or other activities that contribute to the making of your work. If you are applying to the BFA with an Emphasis in Writing, your statement needs also to address how you imagine a studio arts environment will impact your writing practice. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)


Supplement 1 (Required): Sarah Lawrence’s unique, self-directed program attracts independent students who want to delve deeply into their intellectual and creative passions. What has led you to apply to Sarah Lawrence College? In a 250-500 word essay, tell us what you think makes the College and its distinctive educational structure a good fit.    

Supplement 2 (Recommended): Sarah Lawrence students write a lot. In turn, their professors provide them with tons of written feedback. If your teachers’ written comments mean more to you than the grades at the top of your papers, you’ll be in good company here. 

We would like to see one of your graded analytical papers from the last two years of school, complete with teacher comments. Choose one that you think reflects the way you've interacted and collaborated with your teachers to grow academically and intellectually. 

Please indicate your method of submission here. I will upload my analytical essay here I will email my analytical essay to I will mail my analytical essay to the SLC Office of Admission I choose not to submit an analytical essay



Why have you chosen to apply to Scripps College? (200 words)

Choose one of the following (150-300 words):

Please complete this required question.

 (1) You have the funding for your own start-up or organization. What will you launch and why? (2) Tell us about a memorable conversation you have had this year. (3) You have just been invited to give a TED talk. What will you talk about and why did you select that topic? 


  • (1) You have the funding for your own start-up or organization. What will you launch and why?
  • (2) Tell us about a memorable conversation you have had this year.
  • (3) You have just been invited to give a TED talk. What will you talk about and why did you select that topic?



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! We have all heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” Recount a time when something really made you laugh. (200 word limit)


Briefly respond to the following inquiries so we can get to know you better. Do not feel compelled to use complete sentences.

Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists. (50 word limit)    

What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy? (50 word limit)    

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 were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, competitions, conferences, etc.) in recent years? (50 word limit)    

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit)    

What five words best describe you?    

Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (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)    

What matters to you, and why? (100 to 250 words)    


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Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extra curricular 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.



All required Tufts Writing Prompts will appear here once the School/Program question has been answered in the Academics section. 

There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood or community—and how it influenced the person you are today. (Required length is 200-250 words)



Choose one of the six extended essay options and upload a one- or two- page response.

What is square one, and can you actually go back to it? -Inspired by Maya Shaked, Class of 2018

Once, renowned physicist Werner Heisenberg said: “There is a fundamental error in separating the parts from the whole, the mistake of atomizing what should not be atomized. Unity and complementarity constitute reality.” Whether it’s Georges Seurat’s pointillism in “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, quantum physics, or any other field of your choosing, when can the parts be separated from the whole and when can they not? -Inspired by Ender Sahin, Class of 2020

The ball is in your court—a penny for your thoughts, but say it, don’t spray it. So long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew, beat around the bush, or cut corners, writing this essay should be a piece of cake. Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. PS: A picture is worth a thousand words. -Inspired by April Bell, Class of 2017, and Maya Shaked, Class of 2018 (It takes two to tango.)

Alice falls down the rabbit hole. Milo drives through the tollbooth. Dorothy is swept up in the tornado. Neo takes the red pill. Don’t tell us about another world you’ve imagined, heard about, or created. Rather, tell us about its portal. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. -Inspired by Raphael Hallerman, Class of 2020

Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function, but have been retained during the process of evolution. In humans, for instance, the appendix is thought to be a vestigial structure. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence. -Inspired by Tiffany Kim, Class of 2020

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun. You can find our past prompts here:

Please upload your response here.

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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.

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(Optional) Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.

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If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why? (Required for all applicants. Approximately 100 words)    

Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words)
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or 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.    

Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 500 words maximum)
Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?    


Notre Dame.jpg


Your responses will be read by Notre Dame admissions staff as we seek to learn more about you. We encourage you to use personal examples, anecdotes, or anything that helps differentiate you from your peers.

Notre Dame is an adventure that will develop more than just your intellect. Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, believed that to provide a true education “the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” What excites you about attending Notre Dame? (required response, 150-200 words)    

Please select two of the following four prompts and provide a response of approximately 150 words (not to exceed 200 words) to each. 

Home is where your story begins. Tell us about your home and how it has influenced your story.    

Think about when you first meet people. What is a common first impression they might have of you? Is it a perception you want to change or what else do you want them to know about you?    

The late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame's president from 1953 to 1987, served as a trusted adviser to U.S. presidents and popes. A champion for human rights, Fr. Hesburgh was one of the architects of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Reflect on the current state of civil rights, the progress that has been made, or the problems still being faced today.    




How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words) 

*For students applying to the coordinated dual-degree programs, please answer this question in regards to your single-degree school choice. Interest in coordinated dual-degree programs will be addressed through those program-specific essays.    

If you wish to submit a resume, please upload it here (not required).

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Please respond to one of the prompts below. (250 word limit)

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.

Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.

What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?

ClearPrompt Essay:    

Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (250 word limit)    

Describe yourself in three words. First Word:

Second Word:

Third Word:

What is your favorite snack?

Favorite app/website:

Best movie of all time:

Hashtag to describe yourself:

Dream job:

What is your theme song?

Dream trip:

What TV show will you binge watch next?

Place you are most content?




Students who exhibit truly exceptional talent in architecture, art, drama, dance or music and who wish to contribute to the arts community at U.Va. may submit a portfolio. All supplements that are received on time and adhere to the guidelines will be reviewed by our arts or architecture faculty and considered as part of the admission process. Do you wish to submit a portfolio?


No Supplement essay.



Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below. Limit 350 words    

How did you learn about Vassar and what aspect of our college do you find appealing? Limit 350 words   

If you wish to provide details of circumstances not reflected in the application, please upload a file here. Similarly, if you wish to upload your resume, include it here.

Hint: File should be under 500 KB and one of these types: .pdf .doc .docx .rtf .txt.

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You are welcome to submit a photograph of yourself to personalize your application.

Hint: File should be under 500 KB and one of these types: .pdf .doc .docx .rtf .txt.

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Your Space is your opportunity to allow the Committee on Admission to learn something about you that you have not addressed in another section of the application. Your Space is entirely optional. If you choose to include a Your Space submission, be sure it is labeled with your name, high school, and date of birth. Due to the volume of submissions, we will be unable to return your work. Please do not send anything that is irreplaceable.

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wake forest.jpg


List five books you have read that piqued your curiosity. 

Book 1 



Required reading? Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No

Book 2 



Required reading? Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No

Book 3 



Required reading? Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No

Book 4 



Required reading? Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No

Book 5 



Required reading? Yes No Select

  • Yes
  • No

Discuss a work of fiction you read on your own and tell us why it should have been required. (100 – 300 words)    


What have you done to challenge or change that which outrages you? (75 – 150 words)  

58% of Wake Forest's Class of 2015 received academic credit for faculty-directed research across academic disciplines. Describe a specific high school assignment that sparked an academic curiosity you hope to explore further in college. (75 – 150 words)    

Increased globalization and enhanced digitization are bringing people from different backgrounds and parts of the world much closer. Please describe what you have learned as a result of meaningfully engaging with someone different from you. (75 – 150 words)  

Give us your top ten list. First, please provide a theme.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical Hamilton has become a cultural phenomenon. It weaves together history with rap and hip hop through the often overlooked story of Alexander Hamilton. Choose an unsung historical figure who deserves the "Hamilton" treatment. (75 – 150 words)

Imagine it is May 2021, your ideal Wake Forest University commencement speaker is ______________________.

Title your autobiography: ______________________.


    washington and lee.jpg

    All items on Washington and Lee's Writing Supplement are optional. However, applicants who wish to be considered for W&L's merit-based aid must submit a Johnson Scholarship Application essay. Please see the additional instructions below.

    Please elaborate on how you have familiarized yourself with Washington and Lee University and what led to your decision to apply. (250 words maximum)    

    All applications for the Johnson Scholarship are due December 1, 2016, regardless of the applicant's admission plan.

    Applying for the Johnson Scholarship Program does not constitute an early decision application and is not binding. Finalists will be named with particular attention given to their records of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and civic involvement, and their Johnson Scholarship application essays.

    Early Decision applicants, please note the specific instructions for ED 1 applicants in the Help Center sidebar.


    1. Complete and submit your Common Application, including transcripts, recommendations, and test scores (including SAT or ACT with writing scores) by December 1, 2016.

    2. Respond to one of the essay prompts below and submit your completed writing supplement by December 1, 2016. You will not be able to return to your writing supplement after it is submitted. 

    The Honor System has been a hallmark of the Washington and Lee experience for well over a century. Exclusively governed by the W&L student body, the system exemplifies the trust and integrity that distinguish the campus at large. Reflect on a time when you have been entrusted with a significant responsibility. How did you earn it? More important, how did you respond?

    Washington and Lee University’s “standards include civility. When free and equal people with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, disagreement is inevitable. In that contentious swirl of competing views, assertiveness is called for, but so, too, is reticence. You have to develop the courage of your convictions while entertaining the possibility you could be wrong. And you have to resist the temptation to demonize those who disagree with you as morally deficient just because they may not share your views.” (Kenneth Ruscio ’76, current President of Washington and Lee University). Reflect on a time when your stance on an issue changed as a result of civil discourse.

    Consider the meaning of “fair,” especially how the term can be misused. What impact does fairness—perceived or actual—have in society and your life? Has fairness ever helped or hurt you personally? At what cost or benefit to you or others?

    “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.

    “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?

    Non incautus futuri (not unmindful of the future) is a telling motto for the country’s ninth oldest higher education institution. In your opinion, what should W&L be most mindful about in preparing you for the future?

    Please enter your Johnson Scholarship essay below (800 word maximum).    

    Max and Sylvia Weinstein Scholarship

    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. 

    NOTE: Only students selected as finalists in the Johnson Scholarship competition are eligible for the Weinstein Scholarship. 


    1. Apply for the Johnson Scholarship by following the directions above. Only Johnson finalists are considered for the Weinstein Scholarship.

    2. Submit a statement below describing your background and your interest in Jewish life at W&L.

    Please enter your Weinstein Scholarship statement below (350 word maximum).    




    Please note: the Williams Writing Supplement is optional.

    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 the other student in the class, and why? 

    (Please limit your response to 300 words.)



    Questions Not Yet Available



                                                                                                                                                                                                   UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA


    What do you want UC to know about you? Here’s your chance to tell us in your own words.


    • You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
    • Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
    • Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you:  But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

    Keep in mind

    • All questions are equal:  All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
    • There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions:  It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.  

    Questions & guidance

    Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help.  The important thing is expressing who are you, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC. 

    1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.  

    Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about your accomplishments and what you learned from the experience.  What were your responsibilities? 

    Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities.  For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

    2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.  

    Things to consider:  What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

    How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?

    3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?  

    Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

    Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?

    4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

    Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few. 

    If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?

    5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

    Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

    If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends, or with my family?”

    6.  Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.

    Things to consider: Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.

    Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)?

    7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?  

    Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place – like your high school, hometown, or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

    Why were you inspired to act?  What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?

    8. What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?

    Things to consider: Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Even if you don’t think you’re unique, you are — remember, there’s only one of you in the world. From your point of view, what do you feel makes you belong on one of UC’s campuses? When looking at your life, what does a stranger need to understand in order to know you? 

    What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better? We’re not necessarily looking for what makes you unique compared to others, but what makes you, YOU.

    Need more help?

    Ready to get started?

    It’s a good idea to work on the questions before you enter them into the application. Here’s a word doc with all the questions to help you.

    Download the freshman personal insight questions [DOC]


        No supplement Essays.  

        No Essays.

        No Essays


        Please respond to one of the three prompts below. Your essay should be between 250-400 words.

        1. Tell us why you are interested in attending Mount Holyoke College.
        2. What is the best mistake you have ever made and why?
        3. Tell us about an idea, initiative or event that resulted in meaningful change in your life and the lives of others. How did this change come about and what lessons did you learn from the process?

        No Essays

        Please select one of the following prompts to address: 

        Prompt 1
        Sometimes asking the right question makes all the difference. If you were a college admission counselor, what essay question would you ask? Please craft and answer your own essay prompt – in your response, reflect on what your chosen question reveals about you. 

        Prompt 2
        Tell us about Spiders.

        Which Prompt would you like to address? Prompt 1 Prompt 2 Select

        • Prompt 1
        • Prompt 2

        Please put your response to the prompt below in 650 words or less.    



        Optional Essay-

        Ithaca College values integrative learning, the process of making connections among concepts and experiences so that information and skills can be applied to novel and complex issues or challenges. Please describe how an integrated approach to learning helps you shape your understanding of the world.


        Ithaca College began as a music conservatory in 1892. Combining theory, practice, and performance continues to be at the heart of the IC educational experience. Please reflect on how you learn best, and describe how you might put theory into practice at Ithaca College. 

        (minimum of 10 words, max of 200 words)