Admissions Essay: Although it may appear to the contrary, we do know that people have a life beyond what they do to get into college. Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside your formal classroom and extracurricular activities that was just plain fun and why.
By David Oxtoby (Pomona)
David Oxtoby’s best experiences were on a bike. From 100-mile races in California to leisurely rides in France, Oxtoby is living life to the fullest when his feet are hitting the pedals. He wrote about some of his best biking experiences for the Wall Street Journal.
David Oxtoby is a theoretical chemist and president of Pomona College. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and books, including the Principles of Modern Chemistry and Chemistry: Science of Change.
Admissions Essay: Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
By Russell K. Osgood (Grinnell)
Russell Osgood models his views on justice and compassion after conservative icon Edmund Burke. His adulation and respect comes from Burke’s belief that change is best accomplished by a gradual movement in structures and institutions rather than by a violent upheaval. Osgood wants to lead his own life that way. For more, read his essay from the Wall Street Journal.
Russell Osgood was president of Grinnell College from 1998-2010. He is currently serving as Visiting Professor of Law at Washington University Law.
Admissions Essay: You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217.
By Amy Gutmann (U Penn)
Amy Gutmann’s dream was to making a lasting mark in political philosophy at a top-notch university. She did so by sharing the importance of democratic education, creating a model for placing moral reasoning at the center of everyday politics and arguing how important identity groups are for democracy. You can read more from the essay she wrote for the Wall Street Journal.
Amy Gutmann is the president of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a political theorist and author of the book, Democratic Education.
How do you get the most out of college?
By Joan Ramirez (NY/NJ Schools)
In grade school, my teachers used to make class rules. Whenever we didn’t follow them, she pointed to the chart. For all the prospective college students in the universe, I have a news flash: The rules stop the minute you start your Freshman year.
Even though my first year of college began with preparatory courses in my last year of high school, I still walked into class with butterflies in my stomach. To make matters worse, my World History professor planned on retiring so he lectured with the speed of a marathon runner. We all took down notes and left the class drained of energy. At the end of my first day of undergraduate classes, I wanted to quit, but it was a sleep away college and many miles from home. My wise Mom said to give it a month and then decide. To my surprise, after the first week I actually enjoyed classes because I focused on the prize—a great job in a profession of my choice. Today’s economy may not be as favorable to graduating students, but the following facts should be taken seriously:
1. Be focused on your goal and talk to everyone you meet about marketable majors. Have a Continue reading “College and Responsibility”
What is your mission?
by: Brooke Allen (Q4Colleges.com)
My personal mission is to be of meaningful help to my people.
Who are “my people” exactly? If I were Armenian I might consider my people to be Armenians or if I were a lesbian then they might be lesbians.
I am neither of those.
I’m a 59-year-old Caucasian male with a mostly useless master’s degree.
And my people are over-educated Westerners.
This mission came to me after Continue reading “My mission is to be of meaningful help to my people. But who are “my people?””
Who Am I
by Lee Clogs
I am the pen name of people who publish on Q4Colleges.com anonymously. Although I am many people, hereafter when I say I, I mean we.
Here are the terms that all of us who publish as Lee Clogs on Q4Colleges impose on each other… oops, what I meant to say is:
Here are the terms I impose upon myself:
- I (the contributor) own the rights to the work I submit before I submit it to be published under my name (Lee Clogs).
- I (the contributor) grant Q4Colleges.com non-exclusive rights in perpetuity to my (the contributor’s) work.
- I (the contributor) understand that I (Lee Clogs) won’t bother keeping track of who contributed what to being me (Lee Clogs) so if later I (the contributor) wish to stake a claim to something I (Lee Clogs) has published then I (the contributor) knows I (the contributor) can forgetaboutit – it ain’t going to happen.
- Since I need not be associated with any university (and must not in order to maintain anonymity) then I will publish all my works tagged with the institution: University of Life (U Life).
PS. Lee Clogs is an anagram of Colleges; but if you’re smart enough to be reading this then I’m sure you’re smart enough to have figured this out already.
We collect essays from people who care about higher education.
Go HERE to submit original essays, suggest topics, and refer us to previously published work (by you or others).
Questions are followed by author’s last names which link to their essays.
- How do you get the most out of college? Strow, Perry, Ramirez
- How does a poor student become a good one? Halfon
- How can you write better? Toor, Elbow
- How can we communicate more effectively? Jones
- How can you become a better learner? Krebs
- What kind of schools should students consider? Henderson
- How do you even decide to go to college or not? White
- Suggest a question.
- How should you organize your life? Schlesinger
- What have you learned about life? Schall, Baker, Owens, LaBossiere, Coleman
- What have you learned about people? Shasha
- What have you learned about teaching? Kirp, Johnstun, Duneier
- How does college relate to the real world? Williams
- How do you teach people to do the right thing? Kittle, Allen, Pace, Goldstein
- What would you tell your teenage self? Halasz, Stroup, Rodney, Brighton
- What would you tell your grandchildren? Allen
- What is your mission? Adubato, Allen, Korver
- What is your passion? Hall, Haag
- How did you come to value what you do? Adubato
- What kind of person are you? Perry
- What ethical issues have you faced? (awaiting submission)
- What has gotten you to change your thoughts or feelings? (awaiting submission)
- Suggest a question.
- What should colleges teach? Schwartz/Sharpe, Allen
- Is higher education improving or going down hill? Wolin, Goldrick-Rab, Ramaley, Schwartz
- Is graduate school worth it? Seligman
- Are students learning the best way? Poe, Jaffee, Stavans
- Are we preparing students for the professional world? Shapiro, Schneider
- How can students and faculty improve their interaction? Toth
- Is higher education the best thing for everyone? Yaffe
- Are too many students going to college? Williams
- Is imitation a form of flattery – or stealing? Cohen
- Do we need to pay for knowledge? Rubin
- How much do students know? Dolby
- How will open online courses affect the future of education? Carey, O’Donnell
- Is competition good? Potter
- Where is higher education headed? Martin, Spar, Williams
- Are we evaluating colleges the right way? Hurtado, Hauptman
- Is the admissions process a good one? Schwartz, White
- How should higher education be funded? Urgo
- What do academics do wrong? Lang, Jenkins, Goldstein
- Do we have a moral obligation to care about our students’ futures? Cassuto
- Are our students the customers, the product, or something else? Schlesinger
- Who gets to be on top? Haag, Espenshade, Wilson
- Are colleges doing research the right way? Schell
- How should higher education be funded? Loss
- Is our college here for the students or are the students here for us? (awaiting submission)
- Should our college game the U. S. News rankings? (awaiting submission)
- How is our reputation different from reality? (awaiting submission)
- Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when we market to students, or should we hold ourselves to a higher standard than, say, a used car dealer? Allen
- Do we have a fiduciary responsibility to put our student’s best financial interests ahead of our own? (awaiting submission)
- What, if anything, should a diploma from our college mean other than having passed a minimum number of courses? (awaiting submission)
- Suggest a question.
College Admissions Essays
Just for fun, we are collecting both wacky and wonderful college admissions essay topics and answers HERE.