2022-2023 University of Chicago Essays

University of Chicago has his historically asked unusual essay prompts of applicants. This year will be no different.

The University of Chicago has published its 2022-2023 admissions essays. The school, which has long asked applicants to write extensive supplemental essays, has remained consistent for this upcoming admissions cycle for the Class of 2027 by asking applicants to answer two essay prompts. We’ve always recommended that applicants answer both prompts in at least a page. So what are the 2022-2023 UChicago essay prompts, you ask? Well, wonder no more as we’ve got them for our readers!

The first UChicago essay prompt reads, “How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.” In short, it’s a Why College essay, an essay that should be chock full of specifics about the school and how a student hopes to contribute their singular hook to the institution. What should it not include? Generic sentences about UChicago that one can learn on tours and information sessions. Want an example? It’s the home of the nation’s first economics department. We know, we know. Who doesn’t know that? Teach us something new rather than regurgitate the information you’re presented on campus visits!

The second UChicago essay prompt, as per usual, offers applicants the option to answer one of six prompts. The prompts read as follows: (1) “Was it a cat I saw? Yo-no-na-ka, ho-ka-ho-ka na-no-yo (Japanese for “the world is a warm place”). Może jutro ta dama da tortu jeżom (Polish for “maybe tomorrow that lady will give a cake to the hedgehogs”). Share a palindrome in any language, and give it a backstory.”; (2) “What advice would a wisdom tooth have?”; (3) “You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of Martians suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they’re the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, proof, or other idea. What do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time?”; (4) “UChicago has been affiliated with over 90 Nobel laureates. But, why should economics, physics, and peace get all the glory? You are tasked with creating a new category for the Nobel Prize. Explain what it would be, why you chose your specific category, and the criteria necessary to achieve this accomplishment.”; (5) Genghis Khan with an F1 racecar. George Washington with a SuperSoaker. Emperor Nero with a toaster. Leonardo da Vinci with a Furby. If you could give any historical figure any piece of technology, who and what would it be, and why do you think they’d work so well together?”; and (6) “And, as always… the classic choose your own adventure option! In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun!

We love the UChicago essays because students are offered their chance to demonstrate their love for the school. After all, if they didn’t love UChicago, would they bother writing two long essays that can only be used for one school? After all, how many other schools ask students if they could give any historical figure a piece of technology, what would it be and why? That’s right. Zero. In fact, we once again applaud the University of Chicago for daring to ask applicants to write essays that can only be used for their institution, which likely significantly limits the size of their applicant pool. In a sea of elite universities that want to make it easier for students to apply to boost their application numbers, lower their admission rates, and raise their annual US News & World Report ranking, the school with the first economics department in America paves its own path.

 
 

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2 Comments

  • Jen says:

    Out of all the essays my son wrote for colleges, he had the most fun writing the “UnCommon” one for UChicago. And it worked for him, he’s the student who came up with prompt 5.

    I completely agree about this essay self selecting the students who are a good fit for that environment. While it can be intense, it’s also creative, lively, and in his experience, a perfect fit.

  • Sarah Huckabee says:

    Jen lied. It was my daughter who thought of Ghenhis Khan and the race car. Come on, Jen you are better than that. We know who you are too- The JENmeister. Not a good look.

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