Below is a list of all the schools that have been updated so far in College Essay Organizer for the 2015-2016 application season.
Academy of Art University
Adams State College
Austin Peay State University
Bemidji State University
Berklee College of Music
Boise State University
California Maritime Academy
California State University-Bakersfield
California State University-Channel Islands
California State University-Chico
California State University-East Bay
California State University-Fullerton
California State University-Long Beach
California State University-Los Angeles
California State University-Monterey Bay
California State University-Sacramento
Central Michigan University
Coastal Carolina University
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
East Tennessee State University
Eastern Washington University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Fort Valley State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Idaho State University
Kansas State University
Kent State University
Louisiana State University
Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Michigan State University
MidAmerica Nazarene University
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Mount Saint Mary College
Murray State University
Nebraska Wesleyan University
New England College
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
New Mexico State University
New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York
Norfolk State University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Ohio State University-Columbus
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Pine Manor College
Portland State University
Rockland Community College
Saint Francis University
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Saint Leo University
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
San Francisco State University
San Jose City College
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Monica College
Savannah State University
South Carolina State University
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Southern Nazarene University
Southern University at New Orleans
Spring Hill College
St. Catherine University
St. John Fisher College
St. Petersburg College
United States Air Force Academy
University of Alabama
University of Alaska-Southeast
University of Arkansas
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Davis
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Los Angeles
University of California-Merced
University of California-Riverside
University of California-San Diego
University of California-Santa Barbara
University of California-Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Colorado-Boulder
University of Dayton
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Mary
University of Maryland-University College
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Mississippi
University of Montevallo
University of Nebraska-Omaha
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina-Charlotte
University of North Dakota
University of Northern Colorado
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of Saskatchewan
University of Toronto
University of Victoria
University of Virginia
University of Western Ontario
Wake Forest University
Wentworth Military Academy and College
Winona State University (MN)
Wright State University
The Common App is well known for allowing students to apply to several hundred schools using one application and requiring one main essay. While the more competitive schools include supplemental essays in order to apply, there are other schools where the admissions officers prefer applicants to not have to write any essay at all, and the Common App has given colleges this very option for the 2015-2016 season, encouraging additional schools to join.
For more information and an unofficial list of Common App schools that will not be requiring an essay this season, please check out this article by Nancy Griesemer.
Oklahoma State, Yale University, Princeton, and others continue to post their essay questions for the 2015-2016 season helping students jump-start the essay-writing process. Summer is definitely the best time to start before the fall frenzy gets underway. If you are looking for the most creative essay prompt to get you started, Oklahoma State is sure not to disappoint. Here's a sneak peek at their prompts:
A) “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging,” a cowboy proverb says. Describe a time you had to “stop digging” in order to solve a problem. How did this help you assess the situation and develop a solution?
B) Imagine you have the chance to spend one hour shadowing a person in your dream job. What would you do to prepare for this experience? What two questions would you ask during your time together?
C) “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes,” Margaret J. Wheatley said. What behaviors define your leadership style? Describe a time you behaved like a leader. What impact did your actions have on yourself and others?
D) If you had a secret superhero identity, what would it be? Describe a superhero alter-ego of your own creation, including your superpowers and how you got them.
Georgetown University, a non-Common App school, can only be applied to through its school application which recently went live for the 2015-2016 application season. It has a two-part application process, which requires students to first submit Part 1 of the application along with a payment of $75 before moving on to Part 2 and accessing the essay questions.
Students who aren't sure about whether or not they want to apply to Georgetown or educational consultants who need the questions early can view the essay requirements by logging into their College Essay Organizer accounts here.
The new college application season has officially begun with University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, and University of Michigan leading the way with their release of essay questions for the 2015-2016 season. University of Chicago, known for its thought-provoking and quirky questions, did not disappoint us. See this season's options to choose from below. They will be sure to get you into the essay-writing spirit!
Essay Option 1.
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
Essay Option 2.
“I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.” –Maxine Hong Kingston. What paradoxes do you live with?
—Inspired by Danna Shen, Class of 2019
Essay Option 3.
Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story.
—Inspired by Drew Donaldson, Class of 2016
Essay Option 4.
“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” –Paul Gauguin. What is your “art”? Is it plagiarism or revolution?
—Inspired by Kaitlyn Shen, Class of 2018.
Essay Option 5.
Rerhceseras say it’s siltl plisbsoe to raed txet wtih olny the frist and lsat ltteres in palce. This is beaucse the hamun mnid can fnid oderr in dorsdier. Give us your best example of finding order in disorder. (For your reader’s sake, please use full sentences with conventional spelling).
—Also inspired by Payton Weidenbacher, Class of 2015. Payton is extra-inspirational this year!
Essay Option 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.
Essay Option 7.
In the spirit of historically adventurous inquiry, to celebrate the University of Chicago’s 125th anniversary, please feel free to select from any of our past essay questions.
True to its word, the Common App released its new essay questions for 2015-2016 on March 31. While the length will remain 250-650 words, the questions themselves have been revised. Posted to its blog here, the changes are based on survey research the Common App performed. Thanks to 5,667 responses, including feedback from 110 Member colleges, the Common App made revisions to two prompts and eliminated the following prompt:
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
Member Colleges will now have the option to not require their applicants to complete the Common App main essay, though we suspect that few, if any, will opt out of the essay requirement. It seems more in keeping with the Common App's goal of giving more control to member colleges, which can choose their applicant requirements.
Here are the new questions with the changes in italics for those juniors who want to get a head start:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- 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 problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
As college decision time rolls around, it’s important to keep things in perspective, and two inspiring articles published by the New York Times (click here and here) help do just that. You don’t have to look far to find the college mania surrounding many of us, but while students and parents can easily get swept along, it’s important to remember the bigger picture. In his recently published book “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania,” Frank Bruni takes real life examples of talented, driven students who experienced a series of intense rejections during the admissions process but ultimately achieved their goals.
Not only did these students continue to move forward, they felt the rejections even helped them to succeed down the road. According to one student, “I never would have had the strength, drive or fearlessness to take such a risk if I hadn’t been rejected so intensely before. There’s a beauty to that kind of rejection, because it allows you to find the strength within.” It may sound cliche, but hearing from students who actually thrived in the face of rejection brings the point home.
Another student who attended Indiana University also turned his initial disappointment into success, and it ultimately turned out to be a door opener in so many ways: “He got into an honors program for undergraduate business majors. He became vice president of a business fraternity on campus. He cobbled together the capital to start a tiny real estate enterprise that fixed up and rented small houses to fellow students. And he finagled a way, off campus, to interview with several of the top-drawer consulting firms that trawled for recruits at the Ivies but often bypassed schools like Indiana. Upon graduation, he took a plum job in the Chicago office of the Boston Consulting Group, where he recognized one of the other new hires: the friend from New Trier who’d gone to Yale. Traveling a more gilded path, she’d arrived at the same destination. He later decided to get a master’s degree in business administration, and that’s where he is now, in graduate school — at Harvard.”
However your college admissions experience turns out, keep in mind that it’s your grit, hard work, and positive outlook that will ultimately get you where you want to be. You may not always control the scenery, but you are still the driver!
- How to prepare exactly what to write before you even see the question
- Why you don't need to read the excerpt - and how you can even ignore it
- How to interpret the question on your terms so that you're in control
- How to expertly develop each of your examples
- Common mistakes and how to avoid them
The admissions process brings up many stressful feelings, but here is one incident that will definitely bring a smile to your face! MIT, easily one of the most sought-after schools in the country, sent a letter to a prospective student, but what makes this situation different from others is that this student wrote back. Click here for a guaranteed laugh at this student's creative response. Kudos to the student, and we hope that his request is granted!
The admissions process has always been stressful, in large part due to the mysteriousness of the end results delivered in sealed envelopes or precisely-timed emails. According to a recent article by Richard Perez-Pena in The New York Times, some of the esoteric nature of the admissions process is finally being exposed, at least at one college. Due to a little-known federal law that has been around for years, some Stanford students have asked for copies of their admissions records, and the university has 45 days to comply with the request. Students then receive a complete copy of their files, including comments and recommendations, and some students have shared their findings on the internet, encouraging other students to do the same. While this is only available to students who have been admitted, the findings have still been surprising.
This effort is being led by a group of students who run an anonymous newsletter called the Fountain Hopper, and according to Lisa Lapin, spokeswoman for Stanford, the requests are increasing. As this becomes more widespread, the result may be that admissions officers become more careful with what they write, and students will gain greater insight into how admissions officers are evaluating applicants. As this point, according to a Fountain Hopper staff member, “The things they write, it’s clear that they never expect them to be read. They’re very frank.”