Rutgers 2011 College Essay Prompts

Rutgers-New Brunswick and Rutgers-Newark, campuses of the State University of New Jersey, were updated in the database for 2011 this week, along with a host of others, including the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Muhlenberg College, and the U.S. Military Academy.

Many more schools are updated daily at College Essay Organizer, so be sure to check in on our comprehensive list of updated schools, which is updated and re-posted each Friday on the blog.

University of North Carolina State University - Raleigh 2011 Essay Requirements

North Carolina State University - RaleighNC State has a pile of optional requirements that can be evaluated for scholarship purposes, as well as many scholarship-specific questions that are separate from the school's regular application.This year, the school has 14 scholarship-relevant questions in all.

Among them are the Parks Scholarships Program, the Forestry and Environmental Resources (FER) Scholarship program, and the Wood Products Scholarship Program, each of which can be addressed in part by using your intellectual interests essay.

Remember that College Essay Organizer can be a prime tool for finding free money for college, because while we centralize the essay requirements you need for all your schools, we also include departmental and scholarship essays, many of which you can satisfy by turning in altered versions of your essays for other school applications.

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College of William And Mary 2011 Essay Requirements

The College of William and Mary

Campus of The College of William and Mary

In addition to the Common App's basic essay requirements, The College of William and Mary asks students to respond to an optional prompt that's wide open:

Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful?

We know that nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude, but please restrict your submission to what will fit on one sheet of paper.

These kinds of prompts should always be taken advantage of. Remember that the college essay is a vital opportunity to let the school know specific details about your background that the application itself won't reveal. You have precious few chances to let the school know about your side of "the deal" - those qualities you have that the school wants in its student body. Make sure to take them!

Even if you feel like you don't have a special extra curricular or professional experience that makes you stand out from the crowd, choose to focus on the things you love, and your passion for those subjects will shine through. Anything that improves the chances of the admission officer remembering you and your application is worth the effort.

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Lake Forest College 2011 Essay Requirements

Lake Forest CollegeThis year Lake Forest College outdoes itself with 15 essay requirements, many of which are multi-part and multi-page.

For example, the requirement for the Buchanan Social Justice Scholarship requires applicants to address all of these points:

  • What social justice issues are of concern to you and how you are personally involved in addressing those concerns?
  • What leadership position have you held within a social justice organization?
  • Have you attended a local, national, or international conference focused on a social justice issue? If yes, please share more about what you experienced.
  • Have you received any awards or recognition relative to your involvement in social justice issues?
  • Student leaders at Lake Forest often effect change and leave a legacy from their contribution to the College community. As you look forward to your educational experience at Lake Forest, what social justice issue will you champion and how will you effect change within our community or the world at large?

It might look like a lot of work at first, but using College Essay Organizer can be a shortcut to money you didn't know was there.

Each year we comb school websites not just for primary application requirements, but also for optional, department-specific, honors, and scholarship essays. Your College Essay Organizer Essay RoadMap can be your map to extra achievement, not to mention cold hard cash.

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Tulane University 2011 Essay Requirements

Tulane University has eleven essay requirements this year in the College Essay Organizer database. This year they made a significant change in their application scheme - last year some requirements appeared on the paper application but not the online app, and the school has made the wise decision to change that for 2011. Here are a few of the questions that were not consistent across the two formats last year:

  • Have you ever participated in a community service project abroad? Please explain your experience.
  • Have you ever studied abroad? Please explain your experience.
  • Have you ever been involved in a community service project other than one required by your school or another organization?  Please explain your experience.

These are the kinds of questions that give applicants an opportunity to stand apart from the pack a little bit, so Tulane's decision to present these questions to all applicants was the right choice. It works in the applicants' favor as well as the school's - after all, they want their student body to be as strong and diverse as possible, so no need to make it difficult on people who have these kinds of exciting elements to their backgrounds.

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Ball State 2011 Essay Requirements

Ball State UniversityBall State University has now been updated by College Essay Organizer. There are fifteen program-specific questions, as well as four additional scholarship program questions.

Using College Essay Organizer can help you not only find these hidden questions, but also explore your opportunities while writing your responses to them. Many applicants are unaware of the many different options they have when it comes to applying to a college or university, so College Essay Organizer can be your primary tool for finding out about departments and specific programs that suit your interests.

Some applicants might have a better chance at admission if they apply to a program or department that best suits their interests and talents. Make sure to explore them all via College Essay Organizer and make sure your admissions chances are as strong as possible!

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State University of New York Essay Questions 2011

State University of New York - SUNY LogoThe SUNY (State University of New York) schools have many specific differences, including certain essay questions, scholarship requirements, and the like. But they share this question in common:

Please provide additional information that will help us better understand your academic performance. You may also explain any chronological gaps in your academic history (e.g. a period of time after high school graduation before applying to college).

At first glance, this question seems like it could be an optional "tell us anything" prompt, or even a required "disciplinary" question, telling you to explain any suspensions, or run-ins with authorities that have disrupted your time in school. At College Essay Organizer, we recommend that anybody without the kind of disciplinary problems or "gaps" in the academic record use this prompt as an opportunity to discuss his or her intellectual interests.

We have discussed the intellectual interest essay here before on the blog, but most importantly, it is the piece of writing that tells the school why you are interested in what they can offer you, and what you bring to the table as a member of the student body. It is a chance to discuss your interests while also implying what you are good at and how you spend your time most effectively. It can be a chance to distinguish yourself from your peers in a unique way, which is something you should always be looking for opportunities to do.

Brown University and the Common App Supplement

Emma Watson Brown University Student

One of these people goes to Brown University. Exciting! You should probably not write your essay about that.

Brown University has always been known for its distinctive academic requirements - distinctive in that it has nearly no traditional academic requirements at all. Brown does not have a core curriculum, and allows students to shape their learning around a required number of credits each semester. As one might expect, a number of Brown's essay requirements address this atypical aspect of the school, one of which goes a little something like this:

"A distinctive feature of the Brown Curriculum is the opportunity to be the 'architect of your education.' Why does this academic environment appeal to you?"

This is another way of asking why you are interested in the school, something we've addressed here on CEO Blog before. When Brown asks you what's so great about leaving your educational requirements for you to choose, what they're really asking is what you are interested in and how you plan to take advantage of the opportunities such an arrangement allows you more than anything you might find in a Brown University promotional pamphlet.

Don't forget that your writing is always about what you can do for the school and its student body, regardless of the question. The implied meaning of all your responses is that you are a desirable candidate, and that you have qualities that set you apart from the thousands of other applicants. So when writing about a school-specific quality, like when addressing this prompt from Brown, make sure that you are identifying your own interests, and detailing how they would come alive in such an environment. Be specific, clear, and assertive and find the spots where their interests are yours, too.

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Harvard University Returns To Early Action for 2012

Harvard Shield

November 1 comes quickly, little crimsonites.

In 2007, Harvard eliminated its Early Action program and required that everyone send in applications on the same date, January 1st, but this year, it returns to Early Action, with the first round of applications due on November 1, 2011.

The move in 2007 was seen as a reaction against the increasingly competitive admissions environment in America, and many applauded the effort. But other popular schools took this as a competitive advantage and did not follow suit, so Harvard has done its applicants a favor by sparing them the difficult choice of a binding decision from another school when they'd really like to take a shot at Harvard.

Early Action and Early Decision programs certainly increase the pressure on students and parents alike - decisions are often made with a limited amount of information and on very short timetables, but they have their upsides for schools, allowing them to increase yields and fill large portions of their classes with students that are sure to attend.

This decision - coming from the top, as it were - should be read as a firm statement that Early Action and Early Decsion programs are here to stay. Get your work done as early as you can, do your homework, and learn as much as you can about your top choices before committing to your number one school.

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You Are What You Tweet

Have you googled yourself lately?

If you are gearing up to begin your college application process, you definitely want to read Danny Westneat’s article in the Seattle Times. In this article, he discusses how he discovered an inspiring story of a student with a rough start in life, who defied all odds and made it to college, but that his perspective changed when he discovered the student's Twitter feed.

Without getting into the content of his posts, the point is clear. It’s normal for high school students to share their world with their friends, but with today’s internet culture, the consequences of those discussions and the photographical evidence that may be associated with them, are obviously much more far reaching and long term.

Westneat quotes a Harvard interviewer during a debate on the website Quora, who offers some guidance in this area: “Does a Facebook profile or a website prejudice me before I meet a candidate? Yes. Absolutely. If you care about your college career, one of the best things you can do is Google yourself, then pull anything off you wouldn't voluntarily show your parents' friends." Unfortunately, it can be what is not included in your college application that leaves the biggest impression.