Carolina Undergraduate Admissions

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The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jun 1

Fall 2016 Application Essay Prompts

After much discussion among the admissions committee, we’ve now selected the essay prompts for the 2016 application. We hope they will inspire you to write an essay that will help us understand who you are, how you think, and what you might contribute to the University community. Keep in mind that your essays will be evaluated not only for admission, but also for possible selection for merit-based scholarships and Excel@Carolina.

First-Year Applicants

You’ll submit two essays, the first of which is from the main part of the Common Application. These prompts are common to all schools who accept the Common Application and you can view the prompts here.

The second essay will be specific to the UNC application. You’ll choose one prompt and respond in an essay of 400-500 words. Here are the questions:

  1. Teen activist and 2014 Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai said, “I raise up my voice-not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard”. For whom have you raised your voice?
  2. Students learn both inside and outside the classroom. What would other members of the Carolina community learn from you?
  3. You get one do-over of any moment in your life. What would you do over, and why?
  4. You’ve been invited to give a TEDtalk. What is yours about?
  5. There are 27 amendments to the Constitution of the US. What should be the 28th?

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants will also submit two essays this year. The first essay is from the main part of the Common Application. You’ll be asked to respond to the following prompt in an essay of 250-650 words: Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.

The second essay will be unique to the UNC transfer application. You’ll choose one of the following prompts and respond in an essay of 400-500 words:

  1. What bothers you about your world? What could you do to change it?
  2. How do you define wisdom?
  3. You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech.
  4. Why do you do what you do?
  5. UNC Computer Science Professor Frederick P. Brooks discovered what has become known as Brooks’ law – “adding more man-power to a late project will make the project later.” Tell us about a counterintuitive or surprising solution to a problem you stumbled upon in your life.

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