There are thousands of institutions of higher education in the world. And none of them are ready to admit you, only because you make eyes on an admissions committee. However, a lot of unexpected reasons might help you to enter the university: ethnic background, music talent, athletic skills, or alumni relationships. As a rule, things are much more predictable. Some colleges automatically deny your application if your test score is not good enough. Other institutions will be bored with a standard application essay; they are looking for creativity and an uncommon approach.
For example, the University of Chicago has quite an interesting tradition. Every student who wants to join the university “family” receives an e-mail with six creative essay topics. The writing prompts might include debatable questions about everything and everyone: mantis shrimp, odd numbers, “Sharknado”, or your grandmother. Grace Chapin (Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions for the Pacific Northwest and Director of Transfer Admissions) assures: “We ask you these questions not because we want to fool you, or make you squirm, or hurt your brain. We ask you these questions precisely because we love, love, love seeing where your brain goes when you’re asked a question you’ve never thought about before.” She also emphasizes that the admissions officers don’t insist on any kind of standards but the approximate amount of words (500-600). Continue reading