Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fall 2011 Essay Questions

We're still polishing up our Fall 2011 first-year application, which we plan to make available in August, but we thought you might appreciate a sneak peek at the essay questions. So if you have a little extra time this summer, why not spend it by getting a head start on your essays? Since the deadline is still months away, the pressure is off, so try to have a little fun. You might give yourself a daily time limit--perhaps you can spend just 10 minutes each day on this task--and before you know it, you'll have completed first drafts of both essays!

We'll ask you to write one long essay (approximately 500 words) and one short essay (approximately 250 words) but it's up to you to choose which essays will be your long and short ones.

1. People find many ways to express their inner world. Some write novels; others paint, perform, or debate; still others design elegant solutions to complex mathematical problems. How do you express your inner world, and how does the world around you respond?

2. It’s easy to identify with the hero—the literary or historical figure who saves the day. Have you ever identified with a figure who wasn’t a hero—a villain or a scapegoat, a bench-warmer or a bit player? If so, tell us why this figure appealed to you—and if your opinion changed over time, tell us about that, too.

3. Carolina students conduct original research and work to solve problems in almost every imaginable field. If you could spend a semester researching a specific topic or problem, what would you choose and why?

4. Tell us about a group project in which you had to collaborate with your peers. How did it go?

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received or given?

6. Tell us about a recent dream. What do you think it meant?

7. In our history various people have taken stands against injustice, or what they viewed as injustice, often at great personal risk. Have you ever taken a stand against something you considered unjust—or if you haven’t, do you have an idea of what it would take for you to take such a stand? Please explain.

8. If you have written an essay for another school’s application that you really like, feel free to use it as your short or long essay for us. Please be sure to tell us (a) what essay you are answering and (b) why you think this essay represents you well (your explanation will not be included in the word count).

We look forward to reading your essays and learning more about you. And yes, we do read every essay, one at a time. Because we can't meet you in person, your essays play a vital role in helping us understand who you are, how you think, and what you might contribute to the University community. Your essays will be evaluated not only for admission, but also for possible selection for the Honors Program, merit-based scholarships, and other special opportunities for first-year students.

Happy writing!