If you’re applying to the Honors College at the University of Arizona, you’ll need to choose 1 of 3 supplemental essay prompts. This guide will help you choose a University of Arizona Honors College essay prompt that will show off your unique traits and interests in 500 words or less.
Essay Instructions: Select one prompt to address. The essay must be no longer than 500 words.
Option 1: Choose and research a controversial issue that interests you. Pick which side of the issue you support and write a response to persuade the reader to agree with your stance. Please include and cite specific details and examples to support your argument, and remember to address opposing viewpoints.
Can you think of an issue that you have debated about with other people? Do you try to convince your friends or family to agree with you on a certain issue? If so, this could be a great prompt for you.
- Try to pick something you’re passionate about. Do you truly care about this issue?
- When someone disagrees with you on this issue, can you point to facts from reliable sources to back up your arguments?
- Does this issue connect to one of your values, interests, or goals?
If you said yes, then you’re on the right track!
Option 2: Discuss an event, accomplishment, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
This prompt gives you a lot of freedom. Don’t worry about choosing the “right” topic – focus on choosing an experience that was an important part of your life.
As you’re brainstorming topics, these questions may help you identify an experience that led to personal growth:
- Personal growth means that you changed in a good way. Did this experience change you? Do you like the way you changed?
- Did this experience help you become the person you are today? In other words, if you deleted this experience out of your past, would that change who you are in the present day?
Note: You may recognize this prompt from the Common Application. If you already answered this prompt in the Common App, resist the temptation to use the same essay for Arizona Honors College! Choose one of the other prompts, and show your reader a different side of yourself.
Option 3: What historical event/moment do you wish you could have witnessed? Please explain why you chose this moment or event.
If you’re obsessed with a historical period, figure, or event, this might be a great topic. However, remember that college admissions readers aren’t looking for a history lesson - they want to learn about you! Make sure you can connect your historical event to one of your interests, values, or goals.
Let’s look at two examples:
- Historical event: The ancient Greek Olympic Games
- Personal connection: The student’s interest in ancient civilizations inspired her career goal of becoming an archaeologist
- Historical moment: Watching Johannes Vermeer paint “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”
- Personal connection: The student is passionate about creating art
Tip: Complement Your Common App or Coalition App Essay
When you choose your University of Arizona Honors College essay prompt, consider how it will work with your Common App or Coalition App essay. Take the opportunity to show a different facet of who you are.