Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?

Your assignment is to choose ONE of the college admissions essay prompts from the following thirteen possibilities (from both private universities and the University of California).

These are from the Common Application for 2016-2017

  1. Option #1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. Option #2: The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Option #3: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Option #4: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma–anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Option #5: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

These are from the University of California applications for 2016-2017.

  1. Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university.
  2. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  3. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  4. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  5. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  6. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  8. What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?

Once you have chosen ONE of the topics above, please write an essay that is between 300-500 words. Your essay should respond to all parts of the prompt, it should be clear and well organized, and should be convincing. Use examples to support your thesis. Please look at the “tips” websites listed above.

Enjoy.

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