Thursday, June 13, 2013

Common App Essay Changes Inspire New Questions from UVa

When the Common Application (CA) announced several months ago that it had dramatically changed the essay prompts for the 2013-14 applicants, of course I wondered if those changes would ripple throughout the supplementary applications, inspiring a raft of new prompts at schools around the country. Most schools won't post their 2013-14 applications until late summer, but the University of Virginia just announced big changes in their additional essays, brought about by the new CA prompts.

Here's some straight talk from the source at UVa. I think there are some terrific new questions here, just waiting for your thoughtful answers. What do you think?  

2013-2014 UVa Supplement Essay Questions for First Year Applicants

1.  We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists.  Answer the question that corresponds to the school you selected.  Limit your answer to a half page or roughly 250 words.  
  • College of Arts & Sciences:  What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • Engineering:  If you were given funding for a small engineering project, what would you do? 
  •  Architecture:  Students in the school of architecture study the physical design of the environment in which we live, including cities, landscapes, and buildings. That environment has a profound effect on the way that people and societies interact and develop. Describe how a particular physical place has influenced your growth as a person.
  • Nursing:  Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
  •  Kinesiology: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.                                                                        
2.  Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words:
  • What is your favorite word and why?
  •  The Honor Code at U.Va. states that students will not lie, cheat, or steal. This strengthens our Community of Trust. What would you add to the Honor Code and why?
  • In 2006, graduate student Robert Stilling discovered an unpublished poem by Robert Frost while doing research in U.Va.’s Small Collections Library. Where will your Stilling moment be in college?
  •  We are a community with quirks, both in language (we’ll welcome you to Grounds, not campus) and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • To tweet or not to tweet?

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