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TO DO:

COMMON APP ESSAY


Theessaydemonstratesyourabilitytowriteclearlyandconciselyonaselectedtopicandhelpsyou
distinguishyourselfinyourownvoice.Whatdoyouwantthereadersofyourapplicationtoknow
aboutyouapartfromcourses,grades,andtestscores?Choosetheoptionthatbesthelpsyouanswer
thatquestionandwriteanessayofnomorethan650words,usingtheprompttoinspireandstructure
yourresponse.Remember:650wordsisyourlimit,notyourgoal.Usethefullrangeifyouneedit,but
don'tfeelobligatedtodoso.(Theapplicationwon'tacceptaresponseshorterthan250words.)

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their


identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it
affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted
you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.
What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked
your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture,
community, or family.

NOTRE DAME ESSAY


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.
Why 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.
A good story starts with a good beginning. Get us hooked in the first
150 words.
Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross,
described education as the art of helping young people to
completeness. How are you incomplete?
Notre Dame students are encouraged to learn through discovery by
interacting with the world around them. Describe your ideal
intellectual field trip.

Initiate an in-person conversation with someone whom you've never


met but who you think might be interesting. What did you learn
about that person or yourself?

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO ESSAY


ESSAY QUESTIONS
EXTENDED ESSAY (REQUIRED; CHOOSE ONE)
1
.

What's so odd about odd numbers?


-Inspired by Mario Rosasco, Class of 2009

2
.

In French, there is no difference between "conscience" and


"consciousness." In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the
splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants. The German word
fremdschmen encapsulates the feeling you get when youre
embarrassed on behalf of someone else. All of these require explanation in
order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees,
untranslatable. Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why
it cannot (or should not) be translated from its original language.
-Inspired by Emily Driscoll, an incoming student in the Class of 2018

3
.

Little pigs, french hens, a family of bears. Blind mice, musketeers, the
Fates. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Omne
trium perfectum? Create your own group of threes, and describe why and
how they fit together.
-Inspired by Zilin Cui, an incoming student in the Class of 2018

4
.

Were pH an expression of personality, what would be your pH and why?


(Feel free to respond acidly! Do not be neutral, for that is base!)
-Inspired by Joshua Harris, Class of 2016

5
.

A neon installation by the artist Jeppe Hein in UChicagos Charles M. Harper


Center asks this question for us: Why are you here and not somewhere
else? (There are many potential values of "here," but we already know
you're "here" to apply to the University of Chicago; pick any "here" besides
that one).
-Inspired by Erin Hart, Class of 2016

6
.

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.

SHORT ESSAYS:
Please respond to Question 1and, if you choose, Question 2by
writing a paragraph or two for each question. Then choose one of
the six extended essay options, indicate your choice, and write a
one- or two-page response. This is your chance to play, analyze
(dont agonize), create, composelet us hear the result of your
thinking about something that interests you, in a voice that is your
own.
Question 1:
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
Looking through the universitys website and watching different videos
online, I learned that the University of Chicago offers a number of different
organizations that cater to specific likes and interests of students. There is a
myriad of opportunities for students who want to be engaged outside of the
classroom, but are still really interested in school and academics. In high
school, I am not only in the top 5 of my class of 589 students, I also am the
team captain of our varsity football team, member of our student governments
executive board, representative in our Math Olympiad Team, one of the official
student media photographers in school and the guitarist for my indie rock
band. Clearly, I have a large spectrum of interests ranging from academics to
sports to photography to music. University of Chicagos environment of a
rigorous academe while at the same time allowing students explore their other
passions
outside
the
classroom
is
what
Question 2 (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.
BOSTON COLLEGE ESSAY
Wewouldliketogetabettersenseofyou.Pleaseselectoneofthequestionsbelowandwriteanessay
of400wordsorlessprovidingyourresponse.

1. What contemporary issue or trend relating to politics, culture, and


society, or foreign policy particularly concerns you and why?
2. Many human beings throughout history have found inspiration and
joy in literature and works of art. Is there a book, play, poem, movie,
painting, music selection, or photograph that has been especially
meaningful to you?
3. Contemporary higher education reflects a tension between
preparing for a meaningful life and preparing for a career. What are you

looking for in your undergraduate education? Which emphasis is more


important to you at this time and why?
4. Magis, a Latin word meaning more, is often cited in reference to
goals of Jesuit education, which seeks to help students become better, do
more, and have as much impact on society as possible. How do you hope
to achieve the Magis in your life?