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University of Pittsburgh 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide 

University of Pittsburgh 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 200-300 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball

Hello, future University of Pittsburgh grads. (We’re speaking it into existence!) The prompt below is only for applicants who wish to apply to Pitt Honors. Let’s dive in!

In lieu of an essay or personal statement, we ask interested applicants to answer a short answer question. The Admissions Committee reviews responses for quality rather than length. However, the most effective responses typically range from 200-300 words per question. Responses that are longer or shorter are acceptable. The question is required for Pitt Honors consideration.
Please select one of these questions.

What is something you would like to see change in the world? Explain why.

The Admissions Committee wants to accept ambitious students who want to change the world for the better. So, if you could change anything in the world, what would it be? Take some time to brainstorm and write down anything that comes to mind. Maybe, if you had the power, you would make sure that no one in your city went to bed hungry. Why is this particular issue important to you? What steps would you take to enact this change? If, after reading this prompt, you immediately thought of something on the sillier side (flying cars! superpowers! robot dogs!), don’t be afraid to explore that topic and why it matters, too. As long as you are giving admissions better insight into who you are and what makes you tick, you’re on the right track. Let your imagination run wild and show the University of Pittsburgh admissions committee that you aren’t afraid to dream big.

If you had 10 minutes and the attention of a million people, what would your TED Talk be about?

We at CEA love this question because it’s a unique way of asking applicants the following questions: What do you care about and why? What’s important to you? What information do you wish other people had access to? Start by making a list of topics you could discuss or read about for hours. Maybe you’d like to use your TED Talk platform to speak about media literacy and how we can and should consider what we see online through the lens of the powers that dictate how and when we receive information. Perhaps you’d want to discuss AI art, plagiarism, and how it threatens human artists’ livelihoods. What keeps you up at night? What kind of positive effect do you want to have on the world? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when brainstorming for this prompt. Bonus points if you can speak to how a Pittsburgh education will prepare you to address this issue head-on in the future! 

What does it mean to be “educated”?

Since this question is for those applying to the honors college, we can assume that most applicants answering it are high-achievers in the traditional sense. But we all know that’s not the only type of education out there. Pitt is looking for a deeply considered, creatively written essay, so as we here at CEA so often recommend, grab a sheet of paper and start brainstorming! Which words, feelings, or characteristics do you associate with the word “educated?” Are there any people you can think of—people in your life, thought leaders, or even fictional characters—who don’t have a formal education but whom you would consider to be highly educated? What different kinds of education can you think of? In what ways are they different and in what ways are they fundamentally the same? Bonus points if you can describe how a Pitt degree would educate you in more than one way! 

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School Stats:

State: Pennsylvania
Acceptance Rate: 67%
Undergrad Population: 19,928
Out-of-State Tuition: $65,800
In-State Tuition: $63,334
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