Jun 29, 2012

UVa Releases 2012-13 Essay Questions for First Year Applicants

The University of Virginia
Unlike the recently resolved UVa presidential fracas, there aren’t too many surprises among next year’s essay questions for the University of Virginia supplement to the Common Application. After all, they’ve been asking the same basic questions in one form or other for a long, long time.

In general, UVa continues to look for “passionate students” to join a “diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists.”

Beyond the questions required by the Common Application, prospective ‘Hoos are asked to write two 250-word statements, the first of which ties into a school or major with the second requiring a response to one of four prompts.

As in past years, students applying to UVa’s College of Arts & Sciences are asked to discuss a work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature that “surprised, unsettled, or challenged” them in some way.
Applicants to Kinesiology and Nursing need to describe experiences that led them to choose these paths.
Prospective engineers are once again asked to come up with a “small engineering project,” without dollar limits. The sky’s the limit.
And architects will explain in 250 words or less what “excites” them about architecture.

For the second essay, the admissions office failed to come up with anything new.  The options remain the same as last year:
    • What is your favorite word and why?

    • Describe the world you come from and how that world shaped who you are.

    • Discuss your favorite place to get lost. (hint: this question was supposedly written by students who once lived in one of UVa’s residential colleges, Brown College at Monroe Hill).
    Or applicants may choose a fourth prompt which is to “discuss something you secretly like but pretend not to, or vice versa”—obviously begging the question of how UVa Rector Helen Dragas might respond, if presented with a similar 250-word essay option.

    The Common Application officially launches on August 1st after a brief hiatus at the end of July. This is when retooling takes place and new supplements are brought online.

    In the meantime, a 2012-13preview edition is available to download and take to the beach. Prospective UVa early action applicants would be wise to take it along and start drafting a few essays.

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