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20 Strange College Application Essay Questions

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert 511 replies3095 threads CC Admissions Expert
edited November 2010 in College Essays
"Are we alone? [Tufts University]" "How do you feel about Wednesday? [University of Chicago]" "Can a toad hear? Prove it. [Bennington College]" See the other 17.

20 Strange College Application Essay Questions | Ace Online Schools
edited November 2010
45 replies
Post edited by Dave_Berry on
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Replies to: 20 Strange College Application Essay Questions

  • whatever4whatever4 803 replies63 threads Member

    Now that's a career to which a kid could aspire: College Essay Question Developer.
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  • sevenstarssevenstars 31 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Here's another, from Brandeis: "If you could be raised by aliens, robots, or dinosaurs, which would you choose and why?"
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  • R3d3mpti0nR3d3mpti0n 661 replies32 threads Member
    I'm just glad I'm not applying to UChicago. I mean, "Your work must include at least four of the following elements: a paper airplane, a transformation, a shoe, the invisible hand, two doors, pointillism, a fanciful explanation of the Pythagorean Theorem, a ventriloquist or ventriloquism, the Periodic Table of the Elements, the concept of jeong, number two pencils."

    I mean, I think it's great that students are given platforms to express their creativity, but what...the...FAWK?!
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  • manariusmanarius 820 replies13 threads Member

    What? You've got to be kidding. These topics make me want to apply there, just for fun.
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  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom 4377 replies84 threads Senior Member
    It would be torture to read some of those essays, and I'm not sure the college really gets a great sense of the student in those answers.
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  • rymdrymd - 1020 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I remember the NYU ones from last year and they were fine. But some of these are just borderline ********. The UChicago application has turned into a joke. Something tells me that the UChicago adcoms actually belong to the Second City comedy troupe.
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  • WhoFriendWhoFriend 79 replies13 threads Junior Member
    In addition to rymd's point about Second City, I also believe that this is really just elaborate performance art.
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  • HugcheckHugcheck 961 replies70 threads Senior Member
    The toad one is weird. I mean, can a college essay consist of the single sentence, "We know toads can hear because when a male toad calls, a female lets him hump her." Perhaps we have to do the field research first to prove that when male toads are bound with duct tape they can't call and have no reproductive success? Either way I don't want to know about it. Hence my time well spent here on CC musing. I will say that these schools must be looking for a very particular type of student. Or is it just that quirky/odd/funky/playful/whimsical is in style these days?
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  • aspire2011aspire2011 494 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Man, I wish one of my essays had been like that. It's a tad bit harder to show what a unique thinker you are with questions like "why do you want to attend ____?" or "how can you contribute to diversity here at ____?"
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  • jgraiderjgraider 2802 replies43 threads Senior Member
    The 217 one for Penn is gone
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  • PhotographerPhotographer 197 replies9 threads Junior Member
    These out-there essay topics are awesome -- I wish more schools offered them. Sure, writing college essays will probably never be "fun," but these prompts basically demand a little more honesty and creativity and risk. And honest, creative, risky work is almost always best.
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  • boilingwaxboilingwax 240 replies18 threads Junior Member
    hey, the bennington one isn't as weird as you make it sound!

    "Option 2 Design an experiment that attempts to determine whether toads can hear. Provide the rationale for your design—explain your reasons for setting up the experiment as you did. Strive for simplicity and clarity. "

    it shows that a student is capable of analytical thinking. it actually sounds like a very logical essay, imo.
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  • micaelawalkingmicaelawalking 25 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Even more unnerving, the link to "The Weird World of YouTube College Applications".
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  • everlastingwisheverlastingwish 202 replies30 threads Junior Member
    The problem with the Bennington essay is it would be presented better as a design diagram, and I could probably fit my response into 150-200 words, which I'm guessing would look rather sparse.

    Anyway, I love the UChicago one. A break from the "Why is this college the best place ever? EGO BOOST US" and "Tell us why you're SOOOOO special" essays.
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  • hotpotato1092hotpotato1092 176 replies52 threads Junior Member
    I can't believe UNC's "breakfast of champions" question didn't make the cut.
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  • crmichicrmichi 296 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Chicago's "Find X" one should provide really interesting answers. I was thinking of answering along the lines of "well one year I went to Coachella/Ultra/Lollapalooza/Bonnaroo and found a lot"
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  • amimikeamimike 131 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Wow, I kinda wish I was applying to UChicago now, that'd be fun. I wrote a haiku for my senior quote, it went something like this:

    You are a snowflake,
    There is only one of you.
    Thank god for that, huh?

    Think I'd make it in?
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  • realmadrid924realmadrid924 26 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Chicago: Find X
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  • SpazzySpazzy 194 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I kind of wish I was applying to some of these places just so I could tackle those essay prompts, haha.
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  • ManjulManjul - 25 replies1 threads New Member
    Can anyone tell me how to write on this :
    Imagine it is the eve of your graduation from Lafayette and you are reading what the yearbook says about the impact you have had on the college during your four years as a student. What might the yearbook say?

    Email me at : [email protected]
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