It’s like Christmas, Chanukah, and Eid Al-Fitr all in one. The Williams 2017-2018 admissions essays are out. Those are Williams’ admissions essays for this coming admissions cycle. Well, blow up the balloons and uncork the champagne because we’ve got these essays for our loyal readers. Now, we know, we know. You’ve been waiting to see these essays for some time. Here we are, like Rachel Maddow teasing her audience that she had President Trump’s taxes. We do like Rachel but on that day, the tease was a bit ridiculous considering she had about a page or two of tax records that were likely leaked by President Trump himself.
Anyhow, we digress. Hey, it’s not all that much fun writing about a college’s admissions essay prompts so we’ve got to create all the fun we can! The Williams College writing supplement, which is optional (that which is optional in highly selective college admissions isn’t really optional!), should be no longer than 300 words — which means that applicants to Williams should write how many words? Our regular readers — or even just our readers who happen to have read yesterday’s post — know this answer well. That’s right. 300 words. Applicants should use all of the real estate they can to make their case for admission to one of America’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges.
The Williams prompts (applicants are asked to answer one of the three prompts) read as follows — as articulated on the Williams College admissions office’s website:
“1. At Williams we believe that bringing together students and professors in small groups produces extraordinary academic outcomes. Our distinctive Oxford-style tutorial classes—in which two students are guided by a professor in deep exploration of a single topic—are a prime example. Each week the students take turns developing independent work—an essay, a problem set, a piece of art—and critiquing their partner’s work. Focused on close reading, writing and oral defense of ideas, more than 60 tutorials a year are offered across the curriculum, with titles like Aesthetic Outrage, Financial Crises: Causes and Cures, and Genome Sciences: At the Cutting Edge.
Imagine yourself in a tutorial at Williams. Of anyone in the world, whom would you choose to be your partner in the class, and why?
2. Each Sunday night, in a tradition called Storytime, students, faculty and staff gather to hear a fellow community member relate a brief story from their life (and to munch on the storyteller’s favorite homemade cookies).
What story would you share? What lessons have you drawn from that story, and how would those lessons inform your time at Williams?
3. Every first-year student at Williams lives in an Entry—a thoughtfully constructed microcosm of the student community that’s a defining part of the Williams experience. From the moment they arrive, students find themselves in what’s likely the most diverse collection of backgrounds, perspectives and interests they’ve ever encountered.
What might differentiate you from the 19 other first-year students in an entry? What perspective(s) would you add to the conversation with your peers?”