Admissions Essays

Your college admissions essay is one of the most important parts of your college application. Not all colleges require an admissions essay, but for those that do, what you say about yourself can set you apart from other applicants. The personal information you include in your essay makes you more than just a compilation of test scores and transcripts. You become a unique individual with skills and talents to contribute to a college campus.

The Two Types of Admissions Essays

The first type is a Personal Statement. This essay is general in nature and gives you the opportunity to tell an admissions counselor more about yourself or about events and people that have influenced you.

The second type is the Structured Question. This essay requires you to answer a specific question with a more structured response. These
questions cover a wide range of topics and can be creative, analytical, or philosophical. Take a look at the following personal statement questions and
essay prompts provided from colleges across North Carolina.

Examples from previous years

Personal Statement

“Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, or science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.”   – Duke University

“Discuss an obstacle you have overcome in your life. What change did you make? What did you learn?”   – Guilford College

Structured Question

“Some scientific advances are so counterintuitive that they completely change the way we think about the world. Examples are the ideas of Isaac Newton or Charles Darwin or Marie Curie. Which scientific discovery made during your lifetime has most significantly affected the world around you?”   – UNC Chapel Hill

Useful Links:

Writing a Great Essay
Process and Crafting
Examples of Essays
CFNC: “Writing Your Admissions Essay”


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