The Essay Prompt is posted!
Holy bananas! The application essay prompt is posted for you!
As many of you know, the application opens on September 1. We realize that things can get hectic and stressful senior year, so we post the essay questions early to give you the opportunity to work on them before you find yourself busy with school, activities, part-time jobs, and football games.
Some things you should know…
- This year, we are asking all students (except those applying to DGS) to select a second choice major.
- This means that you will be writing an essay that applies to each of the majors you are interested in. If your majors are similar, your essays may be very similar and that’s ok!
- The essay is your opportunity to tell us about you. This is not the time to rattle off how much you love Illinois (we assume everyone does) and tell us a lot of facts (that we already know). You are way more interesting than statistics at this point.
- The best thing you can do for your essay is to edit it. Read it aloud. Check your grammar and word choice. This is most critical and least completed step. It’s very clear when an essay hasn’t been proofread.
The most common question I get is, “Is the essay really even used?” and the answer is a resounding YES! When reviewing applications, we use a holistic review process. The role of the essay is to demonstrate that you understand how your skills and interests fit into your major of choice and also how that relates to career goals. Additionally, the essay demonstrates that you can follow instructions and write at a collegiate level.
So, start working on it now, get some help with proofing, and tell us who you are! We look forward to reading them!
Tips for Writing Your Essay
The essay part of the application is important because it gives us more insight into who you are and who you want to be. Make us remember you!
Take time to think about and brainstorm your message. Create an outline, write a good first draft, and edit multiple times.
We want to know more about you, so be honest and let us into your world. Instead of making broad statements about what you want to do, give specific examples from high school or extracurricular activities. And don’t be afraid to add your personal style and voice to your writing!
You only have a couple of paragraphs to tell us about your experiences and goals. Choose your words wisely.
It's not necessary for you to repeat information that’s already elsewhere in your application. Stay focused on explaining how those credentials and qualifications will lead to a successful future here.
Submitting a sloppy-looking essay with spelling errors and glaring mistakes sends us the message that you’re not serious about Illinois. Proofread your essays and ask your counselor, your English teacher, or a parent to take a second look.