College Essay Prompts for 2014-2015

College essays (also known as personal statements, open-ended application questions, supplemental essays and other similar descriptions) are required by many colleges and universities. Carleton College has writing the college essay tips. University of Kentucky has advice about writing the personal statement. Boston College has a video about writing an essay that stands out. Middlebury College has a webpage called Top 10 Ways to Enjoy the College Application Process.

After brainstorming in class, these are the colleges that students are considering attending. If the college has a link, you can click it to find the college essay prompt for that college. Some of these prompts are from 2009-2010 or 2010-2011, so if you are going to use the prompt for a genuine admission application (as opposed to simply picking a prompt to do for the "college essay" assignment due in class), then doublecheck directly with your university to make sure that this is the current year's prompt. I doublechecked as many as I could.

University of California (includes UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UCSD, UCSF, UCSB, and UC Santa Cruz).

The Common Application writing prompts pertain to more than 500 colleges that use the Common Application (as of 2013) (click here)

Many of the colleges that use the Common Application have a supplemental prompt. Research the college(s) that you plan to apply to which use the common application to see if they have an additional prompt. If they do, find the prompt and e-mail it to Ms. LeCren ( with the college name, the prompt itself (cut and paste), and the website URL so that it can be posted here:

California State Universities and Community Colleges do not require a writing prompt (includes SDSU, Chico State, Long Beach State, Sonoma State, San Francisco State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State San Marcos, etc. and Mesa College and San Diego City College).

These colleges and universities who use the Common Application were specifically mentioned by students in class. I have indicated if they require an additional supplement to the Common Application, and if they have an essay prompt).

from 2014-2015 (these prompts were submitted by students from schools they are thinking about applying to; to submit a prompt, e-mail it to Ms. LeCren)

Pepperdine University (supplements to the Common App) (thanks to Sydney)

Fall 2015 Pepperdine Questions

In addition to the Common App Personal Essay, applicants for the Fall 2015 term are required to submit written responses via the Common App to the following two Pepperdine questions:

1. Consider the following scenario: You've been given the unique opportunity to create a brand new course to be offered at Pepperdine University. You have complete autonomy over the course topic, as well as how and where the course curriculum will be presented. What course would you create and how will it contribute to the academic and co-curricular experience at the University? (300 word limit)

2. As a Christian university, Pepperdine expresses its Christian principles through all aspects of academic life and administrative policy. The university affirms that truth, having nothing to fear from investigation, should be pursued relentlessly in every discipline. Students, faculty, and staff members of all faith traditions are welcome to become part of the Pepperdine University community. Please tell us a little bit about how faith has influenced your life. (300 word limit)