Check Out University of Chicago's Essay Questions for 2017-2018 Season

While there are many unknowns in the college application process, especially in regards to essay questions, one thing that is predictable is that the University of Chicago will release intriguing essay questions! This year the tradition continues, and students will not be disappointed in their options. Even if you're not applying to college, take a moment to decide which topic you would choose, and consider writing it. It just may lead to an 'Aha' moment...

Essay Option 1.
“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert

Sometimes, people talk a lot about popular subjects to assure ‘victory’ in conversation or understanding, and leave behind topics of less popularity, but great personal or intellectual importance. What do you think is important but under-discussed?

-Anonymous Suggestion

Essay Option 2.
Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History... a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here:

-Inspired by Josh Kaufman, Class of 2018

Essay Option 3.
Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart! Captain Planet supposes that the world is made up of these five elements. We’re familiar with the previously-noted set and with actual elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, but select and explain another small group of things (say, under five) that you believe compose our world.

-Inspired by Dani Plung, Class of 2017

Essay Option 4.
The late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham once said "Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization." Tell us about your “armor.”

-Inspired by Adam Berger, Class of 2020

Essay Option 5.
Fans of the movie Sharknado say that they enjoy it because “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Certain automobile owners prefer classic cars because they “have more character.” And recently, vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because it is perceived that they have a warmer, fuller sound. Discuss something that you love not in spite of but rather due to its quirks or imperfections.

-Inspired by Alex Serbanescu, Class of 2021

Essay Option 6.
In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. 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.

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Special Note About Auburn and New York University

College Essay Organizer members who have selected Auburn and/or NYU should review those schools' essay questions, as there were recent updates. Auburn has one different essay question from what it had listed previously, and NYU's 18 program-specific questions have been released and are now updated in your account.

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University of Oklahoma & Utah State University are Updated for 2012-2013

Lots more schools were updated today with many questions. Utah State University had one optional question, 2 questions for applicants to the Honors Program, and 5 scholarship questions. We especially like the honors program prompts, because they make students think, often creatively. Here's a great one from Utah State:

"You return to your room in the residence hall next fall, and on the floor just outside the door, you find a hard hat, a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and one additional object. In addition to revealing the identity of the third object, explain how the hard had, the book, and the third object got there and their significance."

University of Oklahoma also had lots of questions including 6 required questions, and one essay for the Honors College, also with great options to choose from. Here's the one we liked best:

"Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Explain what you think the Greek philosopher meant by this statement and whether you believe it to be true."

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University of Notre Dame Releases New, Riskier Question for the 2011-2012 Application

Will you take a risk when you write your essays?

Schools continue to release new essay questions or confirm that last year’s questions will remain the same for the new season.

For those California dreaming, you can get busy writing now that the University of California has confirmed that the questions will stay the same.

University of Notre Dame introduced new essay topics, and while we like the new options, especially “You have 150 words. Take a risk.” students of a more observant and detail-oriented nature may have preferred last year’s topics including, “What is one small detail in the world that you notice and wish others did, too?” and “Tell us about a time when you have surprised others or yourself by doing something unexpected.”

If you’re applying to Elon University, we noticed that the online application does not list the designated essay topic required for those applying to its Gap Semester Program. The school has been notified, and the application will be fixed soon. In the meantime, check out the pdf of the application on the school’s site or use College Essay Organizer to seek out the question.

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Amherst College Released its 2011-2012 Essay Questions

For those of you who are using College Essay Organizer to get an early start on the college essay writing process, you will notice that as a school in updated, the asterisk automatically disappears next to the college's name. Also note that updated colleges will list the "Type" first and "Question" second. The following is a list of colleges that have been updated in the last week:

1. Amherst College

2. Pomona College

3. St. Edward's University

4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

5. Wake Forest University

Expect to see even more updates in late July and early August. We'll be on top of all the newly released applications for you.

Please Note: If you are aware of any college that has released its new application but is not yet updated in College Essay Organizer, keep in mind that we search for not just the required questions but also the program-specific, special applicant, and scholarship questions. However, feel free to email us at [email protected] noting any colleges whose applications you know have been released, and we will inform you when they will be live in College Essay Organizer.

In addition, for counselors working with students, we will soon be adding a new alert system in your account to allow for easy communication. Be on the look out for more details on how to use it.