Quirky College Application Essay Prompts (2015-16)

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Colleges Continue to Get Creative With Collge Application Essay Prompts

The 2015-16 college application season is officially underway after the opening of the Common Application over the weekend. Many essay prompts were made available by colleges over the summer, but the launch of the new Common Application has allowed more insight into what colleges want students to write about this year – no matter how strange.

One prevalent college admissions trend we’ve seen over the past few years is the use of strange, unusual, or alternative supplemental essay questions. Whether it’s an odd essay prompt, a short answer response, fill-in-the-blank, or even the option to answer a prompt with a video, colleges are getting more creative with their applications, forcing students to think outside of the box when applying to certain colleges.
Every year we like to highlight some of the funniest and quirkiest college application essay prompts that students will have to answer. Here are some of the most unusual essay prompts from the 2015-16 application season.

  • Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name – any name: first, middle, last, nickname–and its origin. (Dartmouth College)
  • What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit) (Stanford University)
  • Science and society are filled with rules, theories and laws such as the First Amendment, PV=nRT, Occam’s Razor, and The Law of Diminishing Returns. In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. A green light on a roadway means “go.” Pick any law and explain its significance to you. (Tufts University)
  • Biggest little worry (10 words or less) (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
  • Hashtags trend worldwide. Give us a hashtag you wish were trending. #__________________ Why? (75 – 150 words) (Wake Forest University)
  • Georgia Tech’s motto is Progress & Service. In 25 words or less, what is your personal motto? (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • 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? —Inspired by Payton Weidenbacher, Class of 2015(University of Chicago)
  • If you were offered the role of the villain or the hero in a movie, which role would you accept and why?(University of Florida)
  • You’ve just reached your one millionth hit on your YouTube video. What’s your video about? (Lehigh University)
  • What’s broken, and how would you fix it? (University of Notre Dame)
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