Common College Application Essay Questions 2012 Ford

Application Essay Questions

Please choose one of the essay topics below, limiting your response to about 300 words. (Include your name and date of birth on your essay.) You might want to read our essay writing and application tips first.

If there is anything else you feel we should know about you that has not been covered in this application, please add a personal statement following your essay.

Freshman essay questions

(Choose one. You may also elect to submit a previously written work.)

  1. Why Marquette?
  2. What is the best advice you have received? Why is it important?

Note for students applying to Marquette through the Common App

We happily accept any of the Common App essay prompts. You do not need to respond to either of the above essay prompts if you have completed an essay for the Common App.

Special note for freshman physical therapy and athletic training applicants

All physical therapy and athletic training applicants must answer the following question. (Answering one of the above questions is optional.)

Why are you interested in physical therapy and/or athletic training as a profession, and what experiences have led you to this interest?

Transfer essay question

All transfer applicants must answer the following question.

Please reflect on your decision to transfer to Marquette University. How is Marquette a better fit for you to finish your college career?

What we look for in your college essay

There are no magic phrases or key words to include in your essay. You do not, for example, have to say you've wanted to attend Marquette since kindergarten. We use the essay to get to know a little more about you. This is the one chance you have to be creative in the application process; let your true self come through.

A few words about the essay:

  • Relax and write.
  • Proofread your essay; read it backward.
  • Be thoughtful in your response and careful in your prose.
  • Be genuine. The essay should reflect what you want to write, not what you think we want to hear. Remember, we're not looking for anything in particular when we read your application.
  • We want to make sure you can compose an essay with a coherent thought and that you have the ability to string together a few sentences and express an idea.
  • There is no right answer.
  • Dig deep and have fun!
  • Revise! When you think you're done, revise once more!

While your academic performance is very important in the admissions decision, we believe that ability, potential and success are not measured exclusively by grades. Your essay response helps round out the picture of who you are and helps the Admissions Committee learn what is important to you and what qualities you would bring to Western's community. Western values the diverse experiences and perspectives that make you unique; the essay is your chance to tell your story.  

Help the Admissions Committee better understand your potential for academic success and what you hope to gain from your experience at Western. A response to Question #1 is required, but you may respond to more than one if applicable. We want to reassure you that there are no "right" or "wrong" responses and the number of questions to which you respond is up to you. We recommend 300-500 words per question (this is not a firm limit but a recommended range).


  • Tell us about your educational and/or professional goals. What are you interested in studying and why? Describe any steps you've taken to prepare for your intended major, related life skills, enrichment activities, future plans, etc. In addition, feel free to address what makes Western Washington University a good match for your interests.


  • Western benefits from a student body whose energy and interests extend beyond the classroom. What interests or significant activities enrich your life?
  • Describe any special circumstances or hurdles that have challenged you personally or academically, and steps you have taken to move beyond those challenges.


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