College essay prompt topics
Mar 26, 2018
During application for to college admission selection, most colleges will ask you to send a unique essay or personal state to accompany your college application. To make the process competitive, colleges often provide lists of creative essay prompts. However, there are cases where the colleges don’t provide essay prompts for you but instead ask you to generate your own interesting prompt. Below is a list of essay prompts that were used previously by different colleges;
General essay prompts
- If you could be any animal in recorded history, what animal would you choose? Why?
- Describe some tasks that you have accomplished over the past two years that have no connection to academic studies.
- If you were given the ability to change one moment in your life, would you do so? Why or why not? If so, what moment would you change and why?
- What do you consider to be the most important political or social movement of the 20th century? Why?
- Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why that quotation describes you so well.
- What do you consider to be the best advice you ever received? Who gave you that advice and did you follow that advice or not?
- What would you describe to be your most unique or special skill that differentiates you from everyone else?
- If you were given the capability to travel back in time to any period in history, where would you head to and why?
- If you had the ability to read other people’s minds (a.k.a. telepathy), would you use this ability or not? Why?
- What do you plan on doing after you graduate from college?
- Presuming there was only one open admission spot remaining, why should this college choose to accept your application and not that of another student?
- How has the neighborhood you’ve grown up in molded you into the person you are today?
- Describe an experience that forever changed your life and your outlook on life.
- Describe the most embarrassing moment of your life and explain what you learned from that experience and how it has made you a better or stronger person today.
- What movie, poem, musical composition, or novel has most influenced your life and the way that you view the world? Why?
- What advice would you offer to a student just beginning his/her high school career?
- Why have you chosen to spend the next four years of your life in college?
- As of right now, what do you see as your long-term goals in life?
- If you had the chance to have a 30-minute conversation with any person in human history (either living or deceased), who would be the person you choose? Why? What topics would you discuss with this person?
- Devise a question that is not on this college admission form and provide a complete, thoughtful answer to it.
- Describe an experience where you were unsuccessful in achieving your goal. What lessons did you learn from this experience?
- Think back to a situation in your life where you had to decide between taking a risk and playing it safe. Which choice did you make? What was the outcome of your choice? Would you have made the same decision looking back on the experience or would you have made a different decision?
- Imagine that you have written a 400-page autobiography of your life to this point. What would page 150 of that autobiography say?
- Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our world and explain why you chose that invention.
- Tell a story that directly or indirectly illustrates the type of person you are.
Stanford Admission essay prompt examples
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.
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.
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you have experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Examples of Stanford short essays
Students applying to Stanford University have an option of writing three short essays. Below are examples of such essays
- What matters to you, and why?
- 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.
- Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.
The University of Chicago (UChicago) Admission essay prompt examples
- Rerhceseras say it’s siltl plisbsoe to raed txet wtih olny the frist and lsat ltteres in palce. This is beaucse the hamun mnid can fnid oderr in dorsdier. Give us your best example of finding order in disorder. (For your reader’s sake, please use full sentences with conventional spelling).
- In the spirit of historically adventurous inquiry, to celebrate the University of Chicago’s 125th anniversary, please feel free to select from any of our past essay questions.
- In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose a question of your own. If your prompt is original and thoughtful, then you should have little trouble writing a great essay. 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.
- “Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” –Paul Gauguin. What is your “art”? Is it plagiarism or revolution?
- Orange is the new black, fifty’s the new thirty, comedy is the new rock ‘n’ roll, ____ is the new ____. What’s in, what’s out, and why is it being replaced?
- 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.
- 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.
- Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story.
A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. Steven Wright Life is a series of punches. It presents a lot of challenges. It presents a lot of hardship, but the people that are able to take those punches and able to move forward are the ones that really do have a lot of success and have a lot of joy in their life and have a lot of stories to tell, too. Josh Turner Life is not a solo act. It's a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife. Tim Gunn