2016-17 Creative College Application Essay Questions

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

creative_college_essay_questions.jpgHere are Some of the Most Creative and Wacky Essay Prompts From This Year’s College Applications


The 2016-17 college admissions season has begun, with the availability of the 2016-17 Common Application and the launch of the new Coalition Application. With the start of the new application season comes some strange and quirky essay prompts.

Students planning to apply to college for the class of 2021 can get started on their college applications now, with many colleges now accepting freshman applications as of Aug. 1. One big component that students can get a head start on now is the essays, including school-specific supplements. While many colleges have the standard questions about why students want to attend, what they plan to accomplish, and more, some colleges get a little more creative and ask some interesting questions. Every year we round up some of the coolest, quirkiest, and strangest essay prompts.

Here are some of the weirdest college application essay prompts from the 2016-17 application season.

  1. This is your chance to take a risk. (University of Notre Dame)
  2. “It’s not easy being green” was a frequent lament of Kermit the Frog. Discuss. (Dartmouth College)
  3. 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 (University of Chicago)
  4. You’ve just reached your one millionth hit on your YouTube video. What is the video about? (Lehigh University)
  5. Title your autobiography. (Wake Forest University)
  6. What is your theme song? (University of Southern California)
  7. In keeping with Rice’s long-standing tradition (known as “The Box”), please share an image of something that appeals to you. (Rice University)
  8. 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. (University of Richmond)
  9. Whether you’ve built blanket forts or circuit boards, produced community theater or mixed media art installations, tell us: what have you invented, engineered, created, or designed? Or what do you hope to? (Tufts University)
  10. You’ve been invited to give a TEDtalk. What is yours about? (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
  11. UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message? (University of Virginia)
  12. Wislawa Szymborska said, “You can find the entire cosmos lurking in its least remarkable objects.” Help us see something ordinary in an extraordinary light. (Brandeis University)

Not sure how to answer unusual college application essay questions like these? Here are some tips to help.

Have you come across some other cool, strange, or creative essay questions? Tell us in the comments below!

Related Topics

College Application Tips, College Essays
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