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Elon University 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Psssst! Hello to all you early birds checking out last year’s prompts! Since Elon released new prompts in late July last year, we are expecting to have this page updated around the same time this year. We’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, feel free to familiarize yourselves with last year’s prompts. There’s a good chance they’ll stay the same for the 2019-20 admissions season.

Elon University 2018-19 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 4 short answers, 1 essay of 500 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Additional Information, Oddball,

Think Fast: We know the application process can be daunting – so don’t think hard, think fast.

Would you rather win an Olympic Medal, an Academy Award or the Nobel Peace Prize? Why?
It’s 2040. What’s today’s headline?
If you could create a food truck, what type of food would you serve. Name the truck.
Name three songs from your perfect playlist.

These funky short answer questions present a prime opportunity to let your personality shine through. From food and music to predicting the future and a game of would you rather, you have four chances to show admissions how you think and maybe even give them a glimpse of your sense of humor. There’s really just one trick for quickie prompts like these: go with your gut. Elon’s admissions office even says so – think fast. Chances are your first instincts will lead you to the most original and genuine answers. Since you don’t have to produce much to answer each question, brainstorming is key. Set aside maybe 30 minutes to jot down as many ideas as you can think of for each question. Try approaching them from a few different angles: funny, solemn, clever, heartfelt. The point is not to waste any time agonizing over what you think admissions wants to hear. Think fast and be honest. Keep it short and simple. Also, pls tell us the 2040 headline is that flying cars are FINALLY a thing.

Please respond to only one of the following essay prompts. Begin your essay by copying your chosen prompt to the top of your document. Upload as a pdf, doc, or docx file. Your essay should be approximately 500 words.

If you could create a new course that all Elon students are required to take, what is the title, what is the focus and why does it interest you?

This question is, at its core, asking what is important to you. What do you think is so fundamental for students to know that it should be a course. You might be tempted to stay within your academic wheelhouse, but if you’re good at calculus, Elon will be able to tell from your transcript. This is an opportunity to reveal something new about a passion, hobby, or even experience that matters to you. Your answer could be something as seemingly simple as Knitting 101, because you believe it’s a lost art that young adults today have never learned. And maybe your fondest memories are of afternoons spent learning to knit with your grandma. Maybe you think all Elon students should have to take a course on carbon footprints, since many people don’t realize the amount of waste they generate in any given day. Perhaps this relates to your dream of becoming a clean energy revolutionary. Your answer should give admissions insight into what you think about and what keeps you up at night. And don’t forget to answer the question completely: you need the title, the focus, and the why.

In 1923 a fire destroyed the majority of Elon’s campus, reducing buildings to ash. The community faced this adversity rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, which is now our mascot. Describe a time when you rose from hardship and demonstrated resilience.

You probably shouldn’t answer this question if you responded to prompt 2 on the Common App (which asks students to reflect on a challenge, setback, or failure). Buuuuttt if you didn’t choose that prompt for your main personal statement, this option from Elon is ripe for the picking! Just like with the Common App’s prompt 2, this question is asking you to talk about a time when you faced adversity and made lemonade out of life’s sour lemons. To ace this essay, make sure you focus on the rising from ash part of your story rather than the reducing to ash part. Admissions isn’t so focused on what you’ve had to overcome or who is to blame, but rather how you’ve overcome it. Show admissions that you are resilient, determined, and an excellent addition to any schools’ campus.

At Elon’s New Student Convocation, every first-year student receives an acorn and is encouraged to keep it until graduation. Four years later at Commencement, every graduate receives an oak sapling symbolizing their growth and transformation. How do you hope to grow and transform during your time at Elon?

This prompt is an incredibly long, albeit creative, way to ask students, “If we accept you, what will you do?” When considering how to answer this prompt, think less about acorns and saplings and more about what kind of impact you want to make on campus and, ultimately, where you see yourself in four or five years. If this level of forethought feels daunting, know that you are not alone. It’s normal for high schoolers (and plain old adults) to feel uncertain about the future, and it’s fine if you don’t have a concrete vision! But there’s an easy way you can draw detail into your vision in this case: research! Elon wants to know what you want to achieve, so visit the school website (or campus!) and explore the possibilities. What excites you? What would push you out of your comfort zone? What opportunities would open new possibilities? You might write about how you’d like to expand your social network beyond your small town and meet people from all walks of life. Perhaps you’re hoping you’ll find more independence as you take advantage of Elon’s study abroad program or come out of your shell with the 12:1 teacher to student ratio. Who do you hope to be in 4 years and how is Elon going to help you get there?

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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