The latest UMich admissions essays are up. With an emphasis on the word ‘latest.’ A little while back, we said shame on the University of Michigan for deciding to change the admissions essays that they had already released. Students had already gotten started on — or even finished — their answers to these essay prompts and then the University of Michigan decides to up and change them on them? It’s just not right. And just recently, Michigan posted the new essay questions and wouldn’t you know…they’re identical to the questions from last year. Why didn’t they just do that in the first place, right?
The first essay prompt for the University of Michigan, which is required of all applicants and should consist of approximately 250 words, reads: “Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.” It’s colloquially known as the Michigan communities essay. The second essay prompt for the University of Michigan, which is also required of all applicants and should be 500 words in length, reads: “Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?”
Do you agree with us that Michigan was wrong to change their essay prompts midstream? Why do you think they decided to change their essays and use the ones from last year? We think that high school students going through the highly selective college admissions process suffer enough stress. They don’t need admissions offices switching things up on them. There just isn’t a need for that. Shame on the University of Michigan. Their admissions office should have been a more empathetic ‘community.’