The Ivy Coach Daily

September 15, 2021

2021-2022 Prize for the Longest College Essays

Tulane University has a super long supplement, one that includes three “optional” essay prompts.

It’s that time of year. Awards season. And while Emmys will be given out this weekend, we’d like to give out another award: the prize for the longest college essays of the 2021-2022 college admissions season. So which university takes home the grand prize? Is it the University of Chicago with their two long essays? Stanford University with their three somewhat long essays and then laundry list of short answers? Columbia University with their two fairly long essays and super long lists, some of which happen to be shorter than in years past? No, no. None of these schools have claimed the 2021-2022 grand prize for the longest college essays among elite universities.

Tulane University Asks the Longest Essay Prompts

The grand prize goes to…drum roll please…Tulane University. That’s right. Tulane University, which historically has presented applicants with a long supplement in the past, outdoes itself this year. This year, the school asks applicants to respond to two 800-word essays and one 250-word essays. We can’t think of any other elite university that asks applicants to respond in up to 800 words — unless the school doesn’t specify a word count. And to ask two 800-word essays and a 250-word essay? Well, who can accuse Tulane of trying to bump up its US News & World Report ranking by making it easier for students to apply? The school is making them jump through quite the hoop when it comes to its essays.

Tulane University Asks 3 Essay Prompts, Including Two 800-Word Essays

And what exactly are the Tulane essay prompts, you ask? The first prompt reads, “Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.” Applicants are asked to respond in 250 words. And while the essay is “optional,” loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well that “optional” means diddly-squat in elite college admissions. The second prompt reads, “Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University.” This essay, too, is optional and applicants are given 800 words to respond. And the third essay reads, “Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. If you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here.” This essay, like the other two, is also optional. Applicants are given 800 words to respond just like for the second prompt.

Congratulations to Tulane University for winning the 2021-2022 grand prize for longest college essays!

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