Personal Statement Prompts of Top 10 Universities in the USA

Why Would You Want to Get into One of the Top Universities in the US?

admission essay format

Your future career and earning potential will all hinge on the qualifications that you gain. Having a good degree from one of the top colleges or schools will, of course, be far more beneficial to you than one of the lesser-known institutions. If you look at admission essay examples for the more competitive Ivy League colleges you will see that the standard required is far higher than for most other applications, and here’s where you might need an admission essay help.

Your Penn university admission requirements essay just as for any other top college must be written perfectly if you are to have any chance of success. Your admission essay format must be spot on and your writing must be attention-grabbing. Looking at our personal statement examples will help you to understand those expectations. Many applicants, however, do not know how to start a personal statement effectively which is why so many will seek out admission essay help.

Whether you need an SoP for PhD applications or a GMAT waiver letter you need to ensure that it is done perfectly. All of the top universities have very high standards and admit only a small fraction of those applying. If you do not understand whether to use a letter of intent vs cover letter or how to write your statement get some help. The following University prompts need to be answered fully:

Harvard University Admission Essay

The Harvard Supplement which will require you to answer with a personal statement for university application such as:

The Harvard College Honor Code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.

Stanford Admission Essay

The Stanford supplement requires 3 additional short essays of from 100 to 250 words on:

  1. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.
  2. Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate and us know you better.
  3. Tell us about something that is meaningful to you, and why?

John Hopkins Personal Statement

The Johns Hopkins supplement requests an additional 300 to 400-word essay based around:

Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.

Yale Personal Statement

The Yale Supplement calls for a number of short answer questions and essays of 250 to 300 words in length to respond to questions such as:

Reflect on your engagement with a community to which you belong. How do you feel you have contributed to this community?

MIT Personal Statement

The MIT supplement looks for you to answer 5 short personal essay topics as part of your application, one of which is reproduced here:

At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200-250 words)

Personal Statement Princeton

The Princeton supplement calls for an additional essay of around 500 words based on 4 possible essay prompts, the first of which is here:

Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.

Columbia University Admission Essay

The Columbia supplement requires you to provide a whole range of short answers to questions as well as short essays such as the following 300-word requirement:

If you are applying to Columbia College, tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time.

Cornell University Admission Essay

The Supplement is looking for an additional essay or personal mission statements based on a prompt that is specific to the department you are applying to. Such as:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Why are you drawn to studying the major you have selected? Please discuss how your interests and related experiences have influenced your choice. Specifically, how will an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Cornell University help you achieve your academic goals?

Penn Personal Statement

The Penn application supplement will require a single additional essay for most applicants:

How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words)

Duke University Admission Essay

It is worth looking at personal statement examples before you start to answer any of the additional prompts in the Duke supplement such as:

Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes gender identity and sexual orientation. If you would like to share with us more about either and have not done so elsewhere in the application, we invite you to do so here. (250 words maximum)

Take a look at our admission essay examples and top university prompts or browse our site for more help with your application.