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The University of California Unveiled Brand New Application Essay Prompts

UC SealIn Fall 2016, both freshman and transfer applicants to the University of California (UC) will choose from brand new writing prompts when composing the required personal application statements.  After ten years, the UC has retired their previous two essay prompts. With annually record-breaking numbers of applicants—which increases the selectivity in admissions—admissions officers are seeking a fuller understanding of each applicant. 

All applicants will have the opportunity to choose the writing prompts they feel best captures their unique character and experiences from a list of options.  By providing admissions officers a comprehensive picture of themselves, applicants can craft the most competitive application possible.

Starting in Fall 2016, freshmen applicants will face eight different prompts, and required to choose four of the eight prompts for their response.  All transfer applicants will be required to answer one common prompt which addresses their choice of major, while being able to choose three additional prompts from seven different options.

All written responses will be limited to a maximum of 350 words.

As with the previous application essays, all applicants are encouraged to use their own voice and craft insightful self-reflections.  In addition, consulting qualified, experienced editors who will assist applicants in expressing their own vision for their essays is essential.  Although well-intentioned, parents, siblings, friends, and even English teachers aren’t always the most unbiased editors to help teens write their biography.

The prompts are linked below:

In future posts, Creative Marbles essay experts will analyze each of the prompts and provide guidance for Fall 2016 applicants.