Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2012 Essay Questions for First-Year Applicants

Although the first-year application for Fall 2012 admission isn't ready just yet, we have finalized the essay prompts we'll provide for applicants. So if you want to get a jump-start on your application, you can begin thinking about your essays over the summer.

On the application, we'll ask you to provide two essays:

Essay 1. Choose one of the prompts below and respond in an essay of 250-500 words. (These are the essay prompts provided by the Common Application.)
  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music,science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
  6. Topic of your choice.
Essay 2. Choose one of the prompts below and respond in approximately 500 words.
  1. What’s your latest discovery? What do you hope to learn next?
  2. Tell us about a time when you failed. How did you react? What if anything did you learn?
  3. Tell us about a time when you struggled to convince someone of something you believed to be right. How did the process go? What was the end result?
We hope these prompts will inspire you to write an essay that expresses your unique voice and helps us understand your personality and passions. (And what do we think makes a good essay? We've posted some advice about essays on the blog in past years, so check it out here and here.)

You may have noticed that some of the prompts above come from the Common Application. Yes, that's right, this year we'll be accepting the Common Application. We'll also continue accepting applications through the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC). You can choose to submit either the Common Application or the CFNC application--whichever is more convenient for you. We'll have more details on our website in the coming weeks and the first-year application will be available in early August.

In the meantime, good luck on your essays!