The Ivy Coach Daily

August 4, 2022

UPenn 2022-2023 First Essay Unlikely to Stick

We predict UPenn’s new first essay is unlikely to stick beyond this year (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

We recently posted the 2022-2023 admissions essays for the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2027. In a change of pace from the last few years, this year, UPenn’s admissions office has asked to respond to three essay prompts. For each prompt, applicants are asked to write between 150-200 words. And while the second and third prompts are quite similar to the prompts in years past, the first prompt is brand new. It reads, “Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!)” And what do we think about this prompt?

Allow us to issue an Ivy Coach crystal ball forecast. As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, we’ve got a crystal ball and it’s a highly accurate predictor of trends in elite college admissions. We hereby predict that UPenn’s new first admissions essays will not last beyond this year’s application cycle. That’s right. It’s going to be one year and out for the write a thank you note to someone you’ve not yet thanked essay prompt.

And why do we believe this prompt is not long for this world? Because it’s a fluff essay prompt and once UPenn’s admissions office sees essay after essay in which students write about their doting grandparents (although our students will never make such a mistake!), they’re going to want to puke. How many essays about students’ parents, grandparents, and teachers can they possibly read — particularly when admissions officers really want to learn about the students. They don’t want to hear about grandma. Sorry grandma! It’s an essay UPenn’s former admissions czar, Eric Furda, likely would never have included on the UPenn supplement during his years at the helm. But, hey, it might take a year for UPenn’s new admissions czar, Whitney Soule, to realize that this is an essay prompt that’s going to inspire some super cliché responses. Put simply, the admissions office could have done better in crafting their new prompt.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts on Ivy Coach’s latest crystal ball forecast by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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