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Essay, study plan, and financial plan

Successful candidates who pass the first round of the admissions procedure, will be invited for the second round and are asked to write an essay. The essay can be written on your own laptop or pc, all you need is an internet connection. You will also be asked to send in a study plan and financial plan.

If you are selected for the next round, you will be asked to submit your written assignments in a four day time slot. You will receive a link and further information via email, as well as the templates that you are required to use for the essay, study plan, and financial plan.

For Early Bird candidates the second round will take place late January 2018.

For Regular candidates the second round will take place in the beginning of April 2018.

For the exact dates, check out our Key Dates .

The study plan and financial plan need to be written beforehand, but submitted together with the essay using the template provided via email. Please ensure that you download this template well in advance. Incomplete submissions, documents in a different format or template, or submissions received after the deadline will not be taken into consideration.

The essay is a written piece of work on a subject that is related to the PPLE programme, yet does not require any specialised knowledge. The essay is used for assessing your analytical skills as well as English writing skills. Writing the essay is a required part of the admissions procedure.

You will have to write the essay within four days, so please check the relevant time line. The essay question will be sent on the first day at midnight (00:01, GMT+1). The submission deadline is on the fourth day at midnight (23:59 GMT+1). Please note that in order to be able to fully utilize the allowed time for writing the essay, you should activate the link in time.

Instructions

You will be given a question to prompt you. Through this essay, you have the opportunity to show that you can communicate effectively in writing by presenting your ideas clearly, concisely, and accurately. You should start by planning the essay carefully, deciding the main points which you would like to state in the limited time available, and how to organise your essay in order to explain and convey your ideas clearly. There are no official limits, but you are advised to write between 500 and 1000 words.

You can use the essay to demonstrate your interest in issues that lie on the interface and intersection of politics, psychology, law, and economics. Your essay should explain how these fields, and in particular the interdisciplinarity aspect, are related to the question.

It is important that what you write is relevant to the question, and that you address it directly. This is not a test of knowledge, nor is it assumed that the questions have right or wrong answers. If the question requires you to make judgements and express your opinions, try to provide coherent arguments to support your views, and consider the merits of possible counter arguments. If you use or quote any sources, either directly or indirectly, please include appropriate references (any citation style is acceptable). Your essay will be judged on both your language skills and your analytical skills.

You will be presented with a question as soon as you start the writing period of four days. An example of such a question is:

Should Western multinationals be liable for violations of labour standards carried out by their subcontractors in Third World countries (minimum wages, maximum working hours, workplace security standards, etc.)?

We ask you to use the format that will be provided to you.

The essay will be evaluated by a PPLE teaching staff member. The admissions committee will decide whether you will be invited for an interview on the basis of the grades you have achieved in previous education, the essay, the motivation letter, and your CV.

Plagiarism check

Please note that it is standard policy of the University of Amsterdam to check written assignments for plagiarism. If this is detected in your essay you will be not be allowed to proceed in the selection procedure.

2017-2018 #UVA First-Year Application Essays

I hope the rising seniors out there are having a great summer. I share our essay prompts for the next year each June with the hopes that we’ll give you plenty of time to think about which one is right for you. If you are thinking about writing your essays this early, I hope you’ll revisit them before you actually submit an application. It’s amazing how much can change in a few months.

I have three pieces of advice for you as you think about your essays:

1. Don’t overthink the topic. These questions are deliberately broad so that people can take their essays in many directions.

2. Don’t feel limited to the essay formula you may use for academic writing. While the five-paragraph essay (an intro, three supporting sections, and a conclusion) you use in school is technically correct, it might not be the best way to get your style and voice to come across.

3. Don’t feel obligated to use all of the advice you get. You’ll obviously want to get some people you trust to read your essays and give you feedback, but it’s okay to ignore feedback that doesn’t fit your style.

I’ll elaborate on those points in future posts. Now, let’s get to the prompts. This past year’s applicants submitted some really wonderful essays, so we didn’t feel the need to make major changes to our prompts. Remember that these short essays are in addition to your longer Common App essay.

1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you design?
  • School of Architecture – Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.
  • School of Nursing
  • Kinesiology Program – Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.

2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

I’m happy to answer questions about our prompts in the comments!

Charlottesville, VA 22904

190 McCormick Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

© 2018 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Essay Advice for UVA College of Arts and Sciences Applicants

It feels like there is so much college application essay advice out there and there isn’t a real need for me to add more, but the questions we’re hearing from callers and visitors have me thinking I’m wrong. So I thought I’d add some more thoughts to the essay conversation (you can see past posts by hitting the “essays” tag at the end of this post). I’m going to break the advice up, so come back next week for posts for the specialty schools. First up, the College of Arts and Sciences.

This prompt is a bit of a tradition here and students in the College can often remember the work they used when they wrote their response. Most of us in admission can cite the most interesting responses we’ve read and rattle off the ones that fell flat. Here are some ideas to consider if you’ll be writing the College essay this year.

1. The phrase “work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature” in the prompt is deliberately broad. Go in whatever direction feels right for you!

2. Make sure your choice isn’t forced, since authenticity comes through pretty clearly in writing. Some students seem to look to the reading list for their English class for inspiration, which means we read a lot of essays that sound like assignments. Be careful about that!

3.We want to learn about growth. Some students spend a lot of time summarizing plot or describing their work and the “in what way” part of the essay winds up being one sentence. The part that is about you is the most important part. If you feel you need to include a description, make it one or two lines. Remember that admission offices have Google, too, so if we feel we need to hear the song or see the work of art, we’ll look it up. The majority of the essay should be about your response and reaction to the work. How did it affect or change you?

Are you applying to the College? What questions do you have about the College essay prompt?

Charlottesville, VA 22904

190 McCormick Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

© 2018 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Best UVA Essay Prompts Writing Tips

A Few Facts about UVA

Image credit: huffingtonpost.com

The University of Virginia is a public institution founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia the University of Virginia currently has almost 16,100 undergraduate students enrolled and its programs. You need to learn all of the visa statement of purpose requirements for the country of destination you’ll be studying in beforehand. Nationally if the University of Virginia is ranked number 23 out of all U.S. colleges and universities. The University of Virginia houses one of the 25 remaining original copies of the declaration of independence. Alumni of the University of Virginia include former U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and journalist Katie Couric. Writer Edgar Allen Poe was a former student but was forced to leave the school after losing his tuition money to gambling. However, his dorm room is still preserved and on display for visitors to the uva essays of the applicants should be perfect.

Learn How to Answer a UVA Essay Prompt

Every school/program at UVA is given a program specific prompt. The following is the UVA essay prompt for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences:

“If you were given funding for a small engineering project, what would you do?”

Tips to help you write a UVA essay prompt response:

  • Be yourself. This applies not only this supplemental essay prompt but those from different programs as well. They would like to know you, your voice and personality. Admissions people might see thousands of responses every year. They learn to recognize when somebody is writing what they think they should instead of what they think.
  • Be clear and concise. These are short essays. You need to proceed pretty much directly to the point. Only include enough details for context.
  • Avoid clichés and clichéd openings and statements. Put some thought into your response and try for a little originality.
  • Lead with your best point. In shorter essays get the most important point in first before you hit your word limit. It also tends to make for a more interesting opening
  • Revise and edit. To convey an idea clearly and concisely is a skill and one that will be recognized. It may take a few revisions to get to that point

Here is an example of a UVA essay responding to the prompt given above:

There have been many recent advancements in technology as it seems to advance at a exponential rate. However very few of these advances have been geared towards improving and advancing education. While it is helpful to make life easier by using these advancement, and the entertainment that technology now provides is enjoyed, what about education? It is fantastic that calculators can now do math for us but at the same time a major issue is that seventy-five percent of people using them do not understand how to even solve the problem. It is ironic that a step forward in technology results in a step backwards for education. If I were granted the money for a small engineering project I would contribute to the success of every student by creating software that could adapt to the learning habits of each individual person, while limiting use of technology that stifled the learning process until a certain proficiency was reached.

The software I develop would adapt to the learning styles of every student. It would explain lessons verbally to an auditory learner or visually with pictures and graphs if that person is a visual learner. I have heard many of my peers say that “math just is not for me”, but that is not true. Anybody can do math if they are taught it in a way that they will understand it. Limiting use of technology that replaces knowledge until a minimum proficiency is reached would create more desire to learn. Why learn math if even the most basic arithmetic is done for you. This software would allow my peers and every other student struggling or just wanting to improve their skills in math to increase their success in and out of the classroom. Math is essential to this country and calculators cannot solve all of our problems, but perhaps computers can give math back to people.

When we help you with an essay, we can start writing SoP. Are you in?

How to Write the University of Virginia Application Essays 2016-2017

Check out the University of Virginia Application Essays for 2017-2018

The University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA, has an incredibly rich history. Established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, its first two rectors were presidents Jefferson and Monroe. This “Public Ivy” is constantly ranked among the top public universities in the nation, and is a well-respected research university, particularly in the fields of medicine and psychology.

It currently stands at #26 on the U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities ranking. Last year, the university received 30,840 applications and accepted 29% of them.

The UVA has 16,483 undergraduates and offers 48 bachelor’s degrees in five undergraduate programs: the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Architecture, School of Nursing, and Kinesiology. The top five most popular majors for the class of 2014 were Economics, Business and Commerce, Biology, International Relations, and Psychology.

The university has a unique vocabulary: The campus is called “the grounds,” and there are no freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors — in a nod to founder Thomas Jefferson’s belief that learning is a lifelong process, students are referred to as first-, second-, third-, or fourth-years.

The University of Virginia’s lifeblood is its student-run honor system, with three simple requirements — students must not lie, cheat, or steal. The university takes this seriously: When accused, a student stands trial in front of their peers. Fellow students, not faculty, serve as the jury. If a student is found guilty, they are immediately expelled.

Outside of academics, the school also excels in sports. The Virginia Cavaliers have won twelve NCAA national championships in the 21st century alone, and students are often found at basketball and lacrosse games. The Cavaliers also have a long-standing rivalry with the Virginia Tech Hokies.

The University of Virginia asks the applicant to first answer a question pertaining to the the applicant’s school of interest, then to choose a second prompt to answer from a list of four. Each essay is 250 words, or half a page.

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University of Virginia Application Essay Prompts

We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.

College of Arts and Sciences

What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

The College of Arts and Sciences receives the most applications of all of the undergraduate schools, so it’s important that your essay stands out. If you are having trouble thinking of a work to write about, make a list of books, music, movies, art pieces, scientific discoveries, etc. that you’ve encountered in the past few years, paying special attention to the ones that you did not immediately like.

Why did you not like them? What made you feel uncomfortable or surprised? How did this further your understanding of the piece itself and of the art form? After brainstorming, your essay should include the context in which you encountered the work, what specific aspect of the work challenged you, and how your understanding and perception of the piece changed — and maybe how it prompted a change in your world view.

An effective essay on this prompt will show off not only your analytical and comprehensive skills in writing coherently about a significant piece of culture, but also will say something about how your perspective and opinions. The underlying question asked in this prompt is how being unsettled, challenged, or surprised helps you grow as a person.

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make your everyday life better, what would you do?

As an engineering applicant, you have likely thought about future engineering projects, but probably on a much larger and grander scale than UVA asks you to discuss here. This question asks specifically about a small engineering project for everyday life, so now is not the time to discuss your ideas for space travel.

What minor inconveniences do you experience in your day-to-day life? How might you be able to solve those using your engineering skills? This is as much an opportunity to talk about the challenges of your everyday life as it is to show off your engineering chops, so you do not necessarily need to get too technical. Think simple, think small, and think personal.

School of Architecture

Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.

This prompt sounds pretty straightforward, but remember that you need to tell a story. While your initial answer might be to rave about a certain stunning place objectively, the whole point of the essay is to get to know you , not another architect.

So in answering this question, think about why it had the effect it had on you, add background to your story (Why were you visiting this place at all? What does it mean to you?), and ask yourself how the architecture or design you saw might inspire you as a future architect. Also, allow yourself to think outside the box: Architecture and design don’t necessarily mean buildings. Think about everyday objects that might inspire you as well.

School of Nursing

Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.

Kinesiology Program

Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.

For the Nursing and Kinesiology programs, the prompts are more straightforward — why do you want to study what you want to study? The prompts also ask for experiences, so think of anecdotes in which you knew that you wanted to study Nursing/Kinesiology. Since you have a whole 250 words, after you come up with a compelling narrative for why you’ve chosen your field, go further and answer why you want to study that field at UVA specifically.

Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

What’s your favorite word, and why?

This question tends to show up frequently on supplements, but most other schools don’t ask you to write a full 250-word essay about it. This means that instead of just thinking of a word that sounds cool to you and possibly writing a sentence about it, you will want to write about a word that comes with a story.

Maybe it’s the first word you learned in a foreign language; maybe it’s a word that is an inside joke in your family; maybe it’s a food; or maybe it is just a word that sounds cool to you — but in any regard, you should have background for why you love the word you love.

Describe one of your quirks…

We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.

This is a more specific version of the “tell us who you are” question. For this, you’ll want to convey your personality, framed by a particular aspect of it (the ‘quirk’). Think of a small personal trait that makes you different — maybe a habit that you learned from your parents or a piece of slang that is used by a community you belong to. Then expand on that quirk into how it influences your personality as a whole.

Student Self-Governance

Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the U.Va. culture. In her fourth year at U.Va., Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore, and why?

As previously noted, UVA is big on student responsibility, with students acting as the enforcement of the honor code. This is taking that idea of independence and self-governance one step further. The key phrase in this prompt is “outside of traditional coursework” — think out of the box for this one. A good way to approach this prompt is to think of hobbies or interests you have that may not necessarily align with typical subjects in school. Alternatively, think of broader interdisciplinary ideas that span multiple subjects. Then, of course, go into why the topic is of particular interest to you.

Beta Bridge Prompt

U.Va. students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge, and why is this your message?

For this prompt, you have a couple of choices: words or images. If you choose words, you’ll want to write something succinct that conveys a message. Your hypothetical bridge-writing cannot be too long and should be attention-grabbing. Bear in mind that even choosing words over images, this is still a visually-based question, so you should consider how you want to present the words. How big are the letters, what color are they, and is there any embellishment?

If you choose images, you have a bit more freedom. Choose an image or a symbol and describe what it looks like and what it means to you. Just remember that you need something without too much detail, because again, it’s going on the side of a bridge.

And, as with all of these prompts, while the answer itself is important, the reason behind it is even more so. Why do these words or images matter to you? What do they mean?

Remember that, while all of the second prompts are interesting questions in and of themselves, the end goal is for the university to get to know you, so remember to tie your answers back to yourself. What does your answer mean to you, why did you come up with it, etc.

CollegeVine College Essay Team

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UVa announces essay prompts for 2016–17

The University of Virginia announced on Thursday that essay prompts for fall 2017 applicants will be looking very very similar to those in previous years, with only a few minor tweaks to keep things interesting.

In addition to the personal statement required of all UVa applicants using either the Coalition Application or the Common Application, students will be asked to write two short responses to prompts provided in the member-specific section of the application.

“Towards the end of every reading season, we gather to talk about which essay questions elicited great responses, which ones could be tweaked to be better, and which essays we’d like to retire,” explained Jeannine Lalonde, “Dean J” of the UVa Admissions Blog. “We often pull students into our discussions to get their perspectives.”

Last year, Dean J invited readers of her blog to provide feedback on the essay prompts.

“My favorite one was the quirks essay! It allowed me to show another side of me that’s not just my gpa, grades, and extracurriculars. That one was the one I had the most fun writing,” said one applicant.

Another agreed, “Definitely keep the quirks prompt…Out of all the college application essays I had to write, I honestly think I had the most fun writing the quirks essay.”

Others debated the “To tweet or not to tweet” prompt. One thought the question was “very cool because it allowed us to write about social media which has become a generational treasure for us younger folks.” But another complained, “I didn’t really understand what ‘to tweet or not to tweet’ was supposed to mean and therefore avoided it.”

As in past years, UVa is “looking for passionate students” to join a “diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists.” Prospective “’Hoos” are asked to answer in approximately 250 words one of a series of questions corresponding to the school/program to which they are applying:

  • College of Arts and Sciences: What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you do?
  • Kinesiology Program: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.
  • School of Nursing: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
  • School of Architecture: Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.

For the second essay, applicants are asked to pick one of four questions to answer in a half page or roughly 250 words:

  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

Once again, UVa will be accepting the Coalition Application and the Common Application, both of which have already posted their personal statement prompts. Although the questions are very similar, it’s worth noting that while Common App software restricts word counts to between 250 and 650 words, the Coalition “strongly recommends” that personal statements stay within 500 to 550 words.

And in the college admissions world, it’s wise to take these kinds of recommendations very seriously!

This article originally appeared in Examiner.com on June 26, 2016.

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