College App Essay Questions

“Why are you interested in our college?” “What will you contribute to our campus community?” “Tell me about a challenge that you overcame.”

These questions, along with a few others, are among the types of college app essay questions that can be seen on college applications. Not necessarily difficult, yet the stress of answering them is high when getting accepted into your college choice is on the line.

No, the responses to these college app essay questions are not all college admissions look at. However, yes, they are important. Not only are they usually required on college applications, but these types of essay questions follow you everywhere; scholarship applications, internships, future jobs, study abroad applications, and more.

To avoid any unneeded stress from the start, here are some useful suggestions to go about answering college app essay questions.

There is no perfect answer.

Quiet the perfectionist in you for the time being, and trust your instincts. College admissions are not looking for the right answers to these college app essay questions. They are looking for thorough, well thought out answers. Giving a typical, cliché response can even cause more harm than good if it comes off too automated and seems as if you did not write it.

Plan ahead and take your time.

We all have a little bit of a procrastinator in us; I know I do! Although, I can say from experience, with careful preparation and plenty of time to format my answers to these pretty intimidating college app essay questions, the pressure wasn’t nearly has high. I am not suggesting months in advance with multiple drafts prepared, but giving yourself some time to proofread and to have others proofread could be very advantageous.

Highlight your strengths and weaknesses.

These are always the hardest questions. At one hand you want to compliment your unique qualities, but you don’t want to sound too boastful. On the other hand, pointing out weaknesses will show your humbleness and modesty, however, weaknesses need to be picked strategically and carefully. Just remember, honesty is always the best policy. Definitely do not give answers like “I can’t think of any specific weaknesses” or “I have a large amount of strengths” that avoid the college app essay questions all together and are not appropriate.

Give a genuine response.

At the end of the day, the best answers to the college app essay questions are the genuine and sincere ones; displaying that you took the time to carefully think about your responses to these questions show college admission departments that you are dedicated and focused on a strong future for yourself. As I previously said, there is no specific right answer to these questions. Colleges want to know and see who you are. They want to decipher whether or not this college is a right fit for you.

Here are some more college app essay questions to keep an eye out for on college applications, and get you one step closer to mastering these types of questions.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Who in your life has most influenced you?
  • Why do you want to major in “enter your chosen major”?
  • What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
  • Does your high school record accurately reflect your effort and ability?
  • If you could do one thing in high school differently, what would it be?
  • How do you define success?
  • Identify some of your weaknesses and strengths.
  • What can our college offer you that other colleges can’t?
  • In college, what do you plan to do outside of the classroom?
  • What high school experience was most important and beneficial to you?
  • What subject in high school did you find the most challenging? What subject did you find came the easiest to you?

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Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson is a junior at North Central College in Naperville, IL pursuing degrees in journalism and interactive media studies. When she is not in the classroom, she balances her time playing for her school’s softball team and working at a local frozen yogurt shop. Jordan enjoys watching movies, thumb wars, and occasional trips into the windy city.
Jordan Johnson

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