Weird College Essay Topics

Strange College Essays, Strange College Essay Topics, Bizarre College Essay Topics

“The New York Times” discusses some weird college admission essay topics.

We’ve written before about weird college essay topics but with each admissions cycle, there are new ones! Especially if the University of Chicago has anything to do with it. But the University of Chicago isn’t alone in choosing weird college admission essay prompts. Brandeis University, for instance, has this question on their application: “You are required to spend the next year of your life in either the past or the future. What year would you travel to and why?” Now that’s the kind of question that leaves lots of room for creativity. Though every college admissions essay leaves room for creativity…even if the essay prompt is boring. Know that!

Tufts asks applicants this year about the meaning of YOLO (“you only live once”), an expression made popular by the rapper Drake. According to an article on weird university essay topics in “The New York Times,” “And even those are tame compared with some choices from the last few years, like ‘If you could choose to be raised by robots, dinosaurs or aliens, who would you pick?’ (Brandeis), or ‘What does Play-Doh have to do with Plato?’ (Chicago).¬†For the colleges, such questions set them apart, though the applications invariably give a choice of subjects, including some that are closer to traditional. And at a time when some elite colleges worry that high school students are more likely to be high achievers than independent thinkers, oddball essay questions offer a way to determine which of the A-student, high-test-score, multi-extracurricular applicants can also show a spark of originality.”

What do you think about these weird college essay prompts? How would you go about answering them? Have a question on weird college admission essay prompts? We’re here to answer them for you so post a question in the Comments section below!

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4 Comments

  • M. Sivapatham says:

    I agree with you on the reason why those off-beat questions have been included (a way to determine which of the A-student, high-test-score, multi-extracurricular applicants can also show a spark of originality.)

    Some applicants are probably better off with the more traditional questions; but I think the bright, high-achieving student who has a quirky side should definitely take on such topics. That might bring out the best of their intelligence, humor, and individuality.

  • meetoo says:

    What difference does it make what the prompt asks of the student? It is just to see how they can answer a question, how well they write, and how well they can go with the flow.

  • Writers write says:

    A good student writer can riff off any prompt, like a good musician can jam with anyone.

  • S. Gupta says:

    I don’t understand why essays are given so much importance. An essay should have value if you give a student a prompt and make them write it in front of you. Anyone can write an essay for a student. It is not a fair tool of evaluation.

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