University Of Illinois Essay Word Limit On The Common

The Essay Prompt is posted!

Holy bananas! The application essay prompt is posted for you!

As many of you know, the application opens on September 1. We realize that things can get hectic and stressful senior year, so we post the essay questions early to give you the opportunity to work on them before you find yourself busy with school, activities, part-time jobs, and football games.

Some things you should know…

  1. This year, we are asking all students (except those applying to DGS) to select a second choice major.
  • This means that you will be writing an essay that applies to each of the majors you are interested in. If your majors are similar, your essays may be very similar and that’s ok!
  1. The essay is your opportunity to tell us about you. This is not the time to rattle off how much you love Illinois (we assume everyone does) and tell us a lot of facts (that we already know). You are way more interesting than statistics at this point.
  2. The best thing you can do for your essay is to edit it. Read it aloud. Check your grammar and word choice. This is most critical and least completed step. It’s very clear when an essay hasn’t been proofread.

The most common question I get is, “Is the essay really even used?” and the answer is a resounding YES! When reviewing applications, we use a holistic review process. The role of the essay is to demonstrate that you understand how your skills and interests fit into your major of choice and also how that relates to career goals. Additionally, the essay demonstrates that you can follow instructions and write at a collegiate level.

So, start working on it now, get some help with proofing, and tell us who you are! We look forward to reading them!

A. Essay (Required)

At the University of Washington, we consider the college essay as our opportunity to see the person behind the transcripts and the numbers. Some of the best statements are written as personal stories. In general, concise, straightforward writing is best, and that good essays are often 300 to 400 words in length.

Maximum length: 500 words

The UW will accept any of the five Coalition prompts.

Choose from the options listed below.

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give younger siblings or friends (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

B. Short Response (Required)

Maximum length: 300 words

Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds.  Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc.  Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the University of Washington.

Tip

Keep in mind that the University of Washington strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values, and viewpoints.

C. Additional Information About Yourself or Your Circumstances (Optional)

Maximum length: 200 words

You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:

  • You are hoping to be placed in a specific major soon
  • A personal or professional goal is particularly important to you
  • You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
  • Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
  • You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended

D. Additional Space (Optional)

You may use this space if you need to further explain or clarify answers you have given elsewhere in this application, or if you wish to share information that may assist the Office of Admissions. If appropriate, include the application question number to which your comment(s) refer.

Format for the essays

  • Content is important, but spelling, grammar, and punctuation are also considered.
  • We recommend composing in advance, then copy and paste into the application. Double-spacing, italics, and other formatting will be lost, but this will not affect the evaluation of your application.
  • We’ve observed that most students write a polished formal essay yet submit a more casual Short Response. Give every part of the writing responses your very best effort, presenting yourself in standard, formal English.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Tip

  • Write like it matters, not like you’re texting. This is an application for college, not a message to your BFF. Writing i instead of I, cant for cannot, u r for you are: not so kewl.

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