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Union College (New York)’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Select-A-Prompt Short Response

Not Required
250 Words

If you wish, you may choose to answer one of the following:

Option 1

At Union College, we strive to enhance our vibrant learning community by promoting a sense of belonging both inside and outside the classroom. Leading with wisdom, empathy and courage, we share the responsibility of creating a welcoming environment where each and every person at Union is respected and valued. What does belonging mean to you, and how will you contribute to building community as a Union student?

Option 2

The Union College Challenge calls for members of the community to commit to trying new things, exploring new ideas or seeking new experiences - whether big or small - and sharing their personal challenges. Describe an experience that pushed you out of your comfort zone. What did that experience teach you about yourself or others, and how will it influence your time at Union?

Common App Personal Essay

650 words

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Option 1

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Option 2

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Option 3

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Option 4

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Option 5

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Option 6

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Option 7

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

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