The Ivy Coach Daily

August 18, 2022

Columbia University 2022-2023 Essay Prompts

The essays are out for applicants to Columbia’s Class of 2027 (photo credit: Andrew Chen).

Columbia University has released its essay prompts for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. So what questions will applicants to the Columbia Class of 2027 be asked to answer? This year’s prompts are quite similar to last year’s prompts, reflecting a change the school made last year when it reduced the word counts on some of its hallmark lists. And, yes, Columbia does ask applicants to write some lists, which should not be confused with essays — as in they should not be in full sentence formation. Heck, Columbia even explicitly says as much in its instructions to applicants this year, likely because so many students don’t seem to follow directions: “- Your response should be a list of items separated by commas or semicolons. Items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications. No author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks are needed.” A list is a list! In any case, wonder no more about the Columbia essay prompts for applicants to the Class of 2027.

The questions read as follows: “List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school.” Applicants have 75 words to make their case. “We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage.” Applicants have 125 words to make their case. “A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community.” Applicants have 200 words to respond. “Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia.” Applicants have 200 words to make their case. Finally, “In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy.” Applicants have 35 words to respond.

And how do these prompts compare to last year’s? Well, Columbia, a school that has been in the news of late for all the wrong reasons for misreporting data to US News & World Report’s annual college ranking, deleted one of the lists and added the 35-worder about what brings applicants joy. In short, they didn’t change much at all. Have a question about the Columbia University 2022-2023 essay prompts? Let us know your question by posting it below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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