15 unusual college application essay questions

Posted on 08/11/10 10:43 PM by Alexis

When it comes to college application essays, institutions tend to ask applicants generic questions like “why are you interested in our school?” or “who is your hero?”

But in recent years more and more colleges and universities have been looking for new ways to judge the creativity of an applicant by asking obscure, hilarious, or just plain odd questions.

Here are some of the most unusual questions students are being asked to write about for their college application essay:

1. “Share your favorite joke.” (University of Dallas)

2. “Salt, governments, beliefs, and celebrity couples are a few examples of things that can be dissolved. You’ve just been granted the power to dissolve anything: physical, metaphorical, abstract, concrete… you name it. What do you dissolve, and what solvent do you use?” (University of Chicago)

15 unusual college essay application questions 3. “You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217.” (University of Pennsylvania)

4. “Are we alone?” (Tufts University)

5. “Analyze Seneca.” (Bard College)

6. “Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they?” (University of Chicago)

7. “What would you do with a free afternoon tomorrow?” (Yale University)

8. “In the year 2050, a movie is being made of your life. Please tell us the name of your movie and briefly summarize the story line.” (New York University)

9. “Caltech students have long been known for their quirky sense of humor and creative pranks and for finding unusual ways to have fun. What is something that you find fun or humorous?” (Caltech)

10. “Does society require constant honesty?” (University of Chicago)

11. “Can a toad hear? Prove it.” (Bennington College)

12. “If you were reduced to living on a flat plane, what would be your greatest problems? Opportunities?” (Hamilton College)

13. “Imagine looking through a window at any environment that is particularly significant to you. Reflect on the scene, paying close attention to the relation between what you are seeing and why it is meaningful to you.” (Williams College)

14. “Sartre said, ‘Hell is other people;’ but Streisand sang, ‘People who need people / Are the luckiest people in the world.’ With whom do you agree and why? Don’t be icky.” (Amherst College)

15. “Find x.” (University of Chicago)

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Leave a Reply