University of chicago application essay (order an essay inexpensively)

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The University of Chicago

College Admissions

The University of Chicago has long been renowned for its provocative essay questions. We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions. They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between.

Each year we email newly admitted and current College students and ask them for essay topics. We receive several hundred responses, many of which are eloquent, intriguing, or downright wacky.

As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.

2017-18 UChicago Supplement:

Required Question:

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Extended Essay Questions:

(Required; Choose one)

Essay Option 1.

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert

Sometimes, people talk a lot about popular subjects to assure ‘victory’ in conversation or understanding, and leave behind topics of less popularity, but great personal or intellectual importance. What do you think is important but under-discussed?

Essay Option 2.

Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History. a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here: https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/academics/majors-minors.

-Inspired by Josh Kaufman, Class of 2018

Essay Option 3.

Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart! Captain Planet supposes that the world is made up of these five elements. We’re familiar with the previously-noted set and with actual elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, but select and explain another small group of things (say, under five) that you believe compose our world.

-Inspired by Dani Plung, Class of 2017

Essay Option 4.

The late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham once said “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” Tell us about your “armor.”

-Inspired by Adam Berger, Class of 2020

Essay Option 5.

Fans of the movie Sharknado say that they enjoy it because “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Certain automobile owners prefer classic cars because they “have more character.” And recently, vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because it is perceived that they have a warmer, fuller sound. Discuss something that you love not in spite of but rather due to its quirks or imperfections.

-Inspired by Alex Serbanescu, Class of 2021

Essay Option 6.

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose your own question or choose one of our past prompts. Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.

Why UChicago?

I came to UChicago because I wanted a world-class education in a diverse neighborhood with the natural amenities of a large city. Additionally, I came to learn how to think. Sure, learning a specific skill-set is also great, but the ability to think critically, I believe, will take me much farther.

Because of the University of Chicago.

. I now have a wide network of friends and colleagues around the world; an education that speaks volumes wherever I go; and a community (Chicago) that I love and cherish.

University of Chicago Undergraduate College Application Essays

These University of Chicago college application essays were written by students accepted at University of Chicago. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Please use these sample admission essays responsibly.

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College Application Essays accepted by University of Chicago

Inspired by Susannah Nadler, a graduate of The Spence School, New York, NY Anthony Haddad

University of Chicago

France is a European fusion of culture, claiming diversely mastered specialties in its many regions and provinces. Crpes, dentelle Bretonne, languedoc, and fromages-mania are all constituent to this cultural synthesis, until you come down to.

Me, Myself and Chicago Anthony Haddad

University of Chicago

1. Although I have a very vague understanding of the University of Chicago, from what I know, I believe it truly satiates all my learning desires. My wishes and anticipations for higher education are mirrored in even the most obvious aspects of.

A Battle for Insight Shannon Maene

University of Chicago

“Kai houtos manthano.”* To most, they are meaningless words, incomprehensible and bizarre. But to me, their meaning is legion: secrecy, silence, concealment. They are Greek, and they mean subversive. I am a subversive, of the Greek persuasion.

The Last Lion and Me Tim Kubarych

University of Chicago

Is it possible for a person to be the mentor of another, even if the latter were born twenty one years after the former’s death? The conventional answer to this question would be no, but then, I have always favored the unconventional. For indeed.

Reaching Out to Others Through Past Experiences Anonymous

University of Chicago

A few years ago, I learned that I have a condition called hyperlexia. This condition is characterized by learning language “out of order” in childhood – in fact, almost in the same manner that an adult learns a foreign language. I was actually.

Learning to Write Good Shannon Maene

University of Chicago

If one were to ask me to relate a story of what had most troubled me throughout my high school experience, I would likely tell of my trials and tribulations as an ambitious writer in the hands of my English teachers. I, like sculptor’s clay, was.

From Jill Glissman

University of Chicago

A smile breaks out on my face as I sit in a picturesque shopping area in the heart of Vienna, Austria. The spire of a Gothic cathedral towers over me, a reminder of how far away my home and family are. I will be leaving Europe tomorrow, so I am.

Why Chicago Is the Place for Me Anonymous

University of Chicago

By all accounts, the University of Chicago is a unique place. My late grandfather, a Bachelors and Masters degree recipient from the University used to say, “for the right student, Chicago is the only place, but it can destroy the wrong student.”.

Golden Brothers Anonymous

University of Chicago

Growing up as one of a trio of “Golden boys” has its share of ups and downs. I am the oldest. Ben followed by two years, and Aaron by another three. It still amazes me that three individuals raised together with the same values, treated the same.

Bigger Isn't Better in America Cindy Hong

University of Chicago

In an ideal world, mustard would come in whimsical glass containers with pictures of wholesome families on their labels. The words “all natural” or “organic” would adorn the jars. They would line the supermarket shelves next to matching bottles of.

Science, Arts and Sports in Common Letitia Lew

University of Chicago

It’s generally taken to be a sign of desperation when a girl in the science stream sacrifices precious studying time to read books just so she can discuss the themes with Humanities students, but that is precisely what I did. Not only did I read.

Running an Online Business Anonymous

University of Chicago

I clicked a button and created a canvas. A lonely, almost blank screen, it was one of thousands of standardized and tabulated web pages, with only my online moniker at the top to distinguish it as my own. That was my debut, an admittedly.

In Search of the Language of Cervantes Anonymous

University of Chicago

The primary focus throughout my high school career has been the mastery of the Spanish language. For the past four of my six years in Spanish class, it has been my privilege to study the tongue of Cervantes under the fine tutelage of Mrs. Maria.

My Choice of College Anonymous

University of Chicago

Why do you want to go to the University of Chicago?

Going to college is like marriage: I choose you, and you choose me. Just as you regard each candidate as an individual, I view colleges not by their statistics and ratings but by the extent to.

The Mind That Sometimes Sticks Anonymous

University of Chicago

I drum my fingers on the desk, tapping out a horribly rushed “Washington Post March.” When I’m anxious, I tap. A chorus of “nous-nous-nous-nous-nous” accompanies the neurotic drumming; what else can I do but idiotically repeat that one syllable.

Can I get a definition, please? Anonymous

University of Chicago

When I first met my friend’s brother, she accented my introduction of myself with her own comment: “She’s a science geek.” Her impish smile assured me that “science geek” was meant to hold positive rather than negative connotations, so I laughed.

The Mystery of Loneliness Anonymous

University of Chicago

Even though I ostensibly lack talent in the fields of drawing or painting, my appreciation and enthusiasm for art is unquestioned. Starting from a young age, I insisted on going to the Art Institute every time my family took a trip to downtown.

"The Postcard with the Coffee Stain" Anonymous

University of Chicago

One of the first pieces of mail I ever received from The University of Chicago grossed me out. It was the size of a postcard, folded up, and had a big coffee stain right on the front. I figured that either a) the mailwoman had spilled coffee on it.

Jan the Troubadour Anonymous

University of Chicago

Three months into my exchange year in Germany, my friend called me, a little dejected. She wanted to go downtown, and it was clear why. There was still something incredibly rousing, mysterious, and exciting about the European city that had.

Opening the Door Anonymous

University of Chicago

When I was eleven, I lived in a trailer park full of kids. I preferred reading and writing to playing with them, so pretty often, when they knocked on the door, I would pretend I was doing chores. Then I would resume reading Harry Potter and.

National Nonsensical Writing Month Anonymous

University of Chicago

My spacebar popped off of the keyboard for the seventh time that night. I snatched it from the floor and rammed it back in place, knowing that it was a futile effort. Apparently, my laptop was suffering from the tribulations of National Novel.

Music's Expanding Bubble Tina T Zhu

University of Chicago

“No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him: it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.” –Charles Kendall Adams

A Two-sided Coin Anonymous

University of Chicago

I often think of my home country, Vietnam, as a coin factory. At this factory, day in and day out, coins march in assembly lines out of metal strips in perfect conformity. I am just such a coin, minted in 1993, rimmed, polished, annealed, and.

It Tasted Like Jet Fuel Ethan Steinberg

University of Chicago

It tasted like jet fuel. But that didn’t surprise me, after all, I was kissing the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, as is customary upon arrival in Israel. What did surprise me, however, was that it wasn’t the type of high-octane fuel I.

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Essay Questions for Freshman Applicants

We want to give you enough time to craft the very best essays you can—and the best way to do that is to tell you what they are now.

Explain your interest in the major you selected and describe how you have recently explored or developed this interest inside and/or outside the classroom. You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals. If you’re applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you’re currently considering. Limit your response to 300 to 400 words.

If you select a second-choice major other than the Division of General Studies on your application, write a second essay explaining your interest in this major, too. Again, limit your response to 300 to 400 words.

Tips for Writing Your Essay

Be memorable.

The essay part of the application is important because it gives us more insight into who you are and who you want to be. Make us remember you!

Be prepared.

Take time to think about and brainstorm your message. Create an outline, write a good first draft, and edit multiple times.

Be yourself.

We want to know more about you, so be honest and let us into your world. Instead of making broad statements about what you want to do, give specific examples from high school or extracurricular activities. And don’t be afraid to add your personal style and voice to your writing!

You only have a couple of paragraphs to tell us about your experiences and goals. Choose your words wisely.

Be focused.

It’s not necessary for you to repeat information that’s already elsewhere in your application. Stay focused on explaining how those credentials and qualifications will lead to a successful future here.

Be professional.

Submitting a sloppy-looking essay with spelling errors and glaring mistakes sends us the message that you’re not serious about Illinois. Proofread your essays and ask your counselor, your English teacher, or a parent to take a second look.

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At UChicago, you are more than your GPA or test score.

UChicago brings together a diversity of top minds from around the world. Every application goes through the same holistic review process, meaning that there’s no one piece of information—academic and extracurricular records, essays, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores— that could tell us on its own whether or not you would be a good fit for the College. And that’s really what this process is about: finding a college home that is a good fit for your personality and your plans. The very best way to approach your college application is to simply be yourself!

What does this mean for you?

  • There is no minimum GPA or test score requirement.
  • No course load is mandatory, but a standard college prep program is recommended.
  • Every high school is different. Regional counselors with specific knowledge of their territory read all applications first.
  • Applications are reviewed multiple times and presented to an admissions committee.
  • There is not one quality on its own that can determine the strength of an application.

We look for bright students with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an interest in encountering new ideas. Tell us who you are in your own voice, not what you think we want to hear. Show us how you made the most of your high school experience and pursued opportunities to do things that are meaningful to you.

Sample Essay: University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is famous for quirky and complex essay prompts. UChicago also places a relatively high weight on the essays when making admissions decisions. Submitting outstanding essays to UChicago can help you recover from a few poor grades, or even a slightly lower SAT/ACT score. UChicago always allows its applicants to submit their own essay prompt and corresponding essay, which is a particularly attractive option if you’re relatively creative. Because UChicago is one of the most popular schools amongst our students, and because we have generated so many acceptances to the school, we have decided to release one of our accepted essays to the University of Chicago to aid in helping you think about how to craft your essay. This student chose to submit a unique prompt, and specific details in the essay have been changed to preserve anonymity:

Prompt (Self-Written): Is there any value to popular culture? Or should society attempt to better itself with more refined art forms?”

Popular culture encompasses an expansive spread of art forms ranging from popular sitcoms to “gangsta rap.” And as with broader society, in cultural spheres such as film and literature there exists an amorphous “elite”- primarily academics and critics in each field and their sycophants. This elite’s response to each movie’s release is predictable: Transformers 2’s stellar 19% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes does not surprise anyone who understands film critics, who decry the “mindlessness” of big budget films while praising “smart” and complex independent films that have vibrant symbolism and social commentary. In short, they’d rather you watch Little Miss Sunshine than waste your time on Transformers 6, Iron Man 2, or the latest R-rated comedy featuring Will Ferrell. Such criticism misses two essential points, at least in my personal relationship with culture. The first is that when I watch a film, I am actually seeking precisely the banal and idiotic entertainment provided by big budget Hollywood film that they so vehemently disparage. I admit there are times when I can appreciate vibrant social commentary or hidden symbolism layered into a movie. But mostly, I just want to relax and be entertained for two and a half hours as I enjoy hackneyed humor. Those who religiously eschew mainstream films deny themselves the joy of one’s visceral reactions to the exploding buildings and slapstick comedy of big budget blockbusters.

Even more important is the social bond that emanates from shared cultural experiences. I recognized this seemingly tenuous link when I visited my family in Chiang Rai, Thailand last September. As huge fans of Thai dramas, my cousin and I decided to binge-watch a romantic comedy called Thara Himalaya, the story of a common villager who fell in love with a wealthy heir. After we finished the drama, I fell into the very trap that I caution against in this essay. Upon Googling Thara Himalaya, I was stunned to discover that a formulaic drama with (what I considered) terrible acting had become one of the highest rated dramas in Thai television history. When I asked my cousin about this seemingly paradoxical outcome, she had a simple explanation: “These types of dramas are so popular because there are a lot of rural and poor women who dream of that kind of ‘happily ever after’.” As I pondered the implications of her statement, the full weight became apparent. Thai women, especially rural ones, live a difficult life. And these sappy dramas release them from these stressors, if only temporarily. They serve the same purpose for me. Even though I may never find out exactly what the lives of these women are like, the fact that we both enjoy the same dramas allows us to bridge the gap between our disparate circumstances.

The same is true in the United States. In recent years, the gulf between college educated Americans and the rest of society has widened. While part of this divergence is driven by economics, there is a cultural gap as well, which drives misunderstandings and exacerbates conflict. How can one expect to understand the mindset of the proverbial “other half” if there are no shared experiences to draw upon? Therein lies the value of embracing the mainstream; when I share experiences with the average American, I am more likely to understand his or her mindset, dreams, and desires. The resultant social cohesiveness is extremely valuable – a characteristic lost when elites isolate themselves in the embrace of haute culture.

The broader implications of this epiphany did not truly become apparent until I returned to the US, when I ate dinner at my mother’s friend’s house. After dinner, I was forced to spend time with her kids, whom I had never met before, and came from completely different circumstances. Initially, we sat around in awkward silence. After a few minutes of painful small talk, almost by chance, we began to discuss the Seattle Sounders, and their prospects for the upcoming season. We had finally found some common ground. For the next four hours, we discussed sports of every variety, from the NBA to the Cricket World Cup. The initial awkwardness had completely vanquished, and we found that we enjoyed each other’s company. The connection between that evening and the value of the mainstream was elucidated later that night, when I reflected on similar experiences that I had had in the past. Whenever I’m at a party or social gathering where I meet new people, the way that I connect with others is by talking about popular sports, movies, or TV shows. Many of my peers decry the perceived sexism or Darwinism in sport. And indeed several of my closest friends scoff at the four major American athletic pastimes. Yet knowing about sports (a cornerstone of American culture) has often come in handy during new and unfamiliar situations – it is my tool for connecting with new people. In fact, one of my best friends in the whole world is from a completely different social, economic, and racial background. When we met five years ago at camp, we bonded over our love of basketball. For me, embracing the mainstream allows me to empathize with and engage with people from completely different social circumstances. Were we to apply this principle to broader society, rather than pursuing the intellectual for its own sake, some of the adverse effects socioeconomic divergence might be halted, and perhaps even reversed. So yes, there is much value to popular culture.

Zack Perkins

Latest posts by Zack Perkins (see all)

  • Sample Essay: University of Chicago – June 18, 2015
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  • An Updated Introductory Guide to Course Selection – May 24, 2015

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Why UChicago? Nicole Kasal

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

In an odd twist of fate, the health preoccupations of my elementary school years – oddball hypochondriac tendencies included – proved to be the unlikely catalyst to my deep interest in microbiology and contagious disease. Perhaps it was simply a case of morbid curiosity; nevertheless, I found myself more fascinated with Streptococcus and Tuberculosis in biology class than the tireless immune system that wars against them. Since then, my time in the lab and in the classroom has made me view the study of pathogens one of the most important ones in existence, and though I may not yet have a clear vision of my future, I can say with confidence that it will somehow involve our millions of miniscule neighbors.

However, since many colleges do not offer this specialized of an undergraduate major, I was about to resign myself to the much broader study of biology until I discovered that the University of Chicago offers a specialization in Microbiology along with its Biological Sciences major. A path that I had long since abandoned suddenly opened itself to me again. Could I really gain a broad background in biology as well as dive deeper into a topic I was so passionate about?

Of course, though microbiology does mark a prominent point of.

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GradeSaver provides access to 908 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7173 literature essays, 2012 sample college application essays, 296 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

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