The New UC Essays
It is turning out to be a season of change for students applying to college next year as new businesses attempt to offer simpler alternatives to the challenging process of college application. For now, The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success as well as ZeeMee.com both claim to introduce greater flexibility and interaction to the traditional application approach of the Common Application. Both sites offer a space for student applicants to upload any academic or creative projects that uniquely portray them. The Coalition also portends to create a space where students can interact directly with their high school counselors and admissions representatives.
Additionally, the University of California has changed the essay prompts in their application. Students interested in any number of the ten UC campuses will be required to choose four out of eight prompts and write a single essay response to each question in no more than 350 words. Below I have included the prompts and highlighted the key words that underscore the central topic of each question.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 350 word limit. Choose 4 of 8.
In past years, students could re-use or re-purpose one of their UC essays for the Common Application essays. The new prompts still overlap nicely with the Common Application essay prompts. The UC questions offer a great first step in brainstorming various possibility. Students can then choose one of their UC essay and expand it by 300 words for the Common Application limit of 650 words. The UC essays might also be repurposed for the other many supplement essays that students will write for each of the private or out of state, state applications. All in all, it is not clear that students will have to prepare more this year if they carefully think about how they can focus and apply their writing. The UC essays may offer an opportunity in disguise. We’ll soon see!
Felicia Fahey PhD
Felicia is a comprehensive educational consultant. She works with college bound students of all ages close to home, across the country and around the globe.