We are posting our favorite Fall 2022 new prompts in college alphabetical order. Email your favorite prompt and we’ll post it too. (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is of July 12, 2021.
Boston College (We love them all)
- Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it?
- In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.
- At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?
- Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
- Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?
- For Human-Centered Engineering major applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?
Brown University (tweaked one essay and two new ones)
Favorite new one:
Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words) (Required, 50-250 words, Paste in or Google Drive Share)
Cornell University (two new prompts for Engineering and Business Applicants)
College of Engineering: Instructions: Applicants must write responses to two of the three essay options. They may choose which two prompts they write about—their choice. Each response is limited to a maximum of 200 words. (Please limit each response to 200 words.) (200 words, Paste or Google Drive Share)
- Engineering is inherently collaborative. What does collaboration mean to you? What strengths do you bring to the collaborative process?
- For you, what makes Cornell Engineering special? Why do you want to attend Cornell Engineering?
- Diversity in all definitional forms is intrinsic to excellence in engineering. Indeed, devising the best engineered solutions to complex problems is often achieved by drawing from the diverse ingenuity of people from broadly different backgrounds, lived experiences, and identities. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity and inclusion of the Cornell Engineering community? What is the unique voice you would bring to the Cornell Engineering community?
University of Chicago (We love them all too)
Question 1 (Required)
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.
Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)
Essay Option 1
What if the moon were made of cheese? Or Neptune made of soap? Pick a celestial object, reimagine its material composition, and explore the implications. Feel free to explore the realms of physics, philosophy, fantasy…the sky is the limit!
—Inspired by Tate Flicker, Class of 2025
Essay Option 2
What’s so easy about pie?
—Inspired by Arjun Kalia, Class of 2025
Essay Option 3
In Homer’s Iliad, Helen had a “face that launched a thousand ships.” A millihelen, then, measures the beauty needed to launch one ship. The Sagan unit is used to denote any large quantity (in place of “billions and billions”). A New York Minute measures the period of time between a traffic light turning green and the cab behind you honking. Invent a new unit of measurement. How is it derived? How is it used? What are its equivalents?
—Inspired by Carina Kane, Class of 2024, and Ishaan Goel, Class of 2025
Essay Option 4
“There is no such thing as a new idea” – Mark Twain. Are any pieces of art, literature, philosophy, or technology truly original, or just a different combination of old ideas? Pick something, anything (besides yourself), and explain why it is, or is not, original.
—Inspired by Haina Lu, Class of 2022
Essay Option 5
It’s said that history repeats itself. But what about other disciplines? Choose another field (chemistry, philosophy, etc.) and explain how it repeats itself. Explain how it repeats itself.
—Inspired by Ori Brian, AB’19
University of Notre Dame
Please provide responses to one of the following questions:
1. During the spring semester, Notre Dame faculty gave 3-Minute Lightning Talks on exciting topics within their fields of expertise. While you don’t have a Ph.D. yet, we bet you’re developing an expertise in something. If you were giving a Lightning Talk, what topic (academic or not) would you choose?
2. There is a story or meaning behind every name or nickname—both those we’re given and those that we choose. What is meaningful to you about your name?
3. What would you fight for?
Yale students embrace the concept of “and” rather than “or,” pursuing arts and sciences, tradition and innovation, defined goals and surprising detours. What is an example of an “and” that you embrace? (35 words or less)
Reflect on something that has given you great satisfaction. Why has it been important to you? (250 words or less)