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The Requirements: 1 essay of 500 words
UVM has come up with five very different prompts to help you show admissions a little bit more about who you are and what matters to you. So pick whichever question suits you and take this unique opportunity to speak to admissions in your own voice!
When all else fails, there’s always the classic Why essay. And we say this with praise! The why essay is not a fallback option, but it is a great choice for applicants who don’t feel inspired by the other prompts, or who just feel more inclined to plead their case in a more straightforward way. The secret to a successful why essay is research, so take some time to explore the school website or even visit campus and get to know all that UVM and Burlington have to offer. Jot down everything that excites you! When you have a solid list in hand, consider how it connects to your own interests and goals. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to find a way to lower your carbon footprint, and you see a lot of potential in studying Environmental Sciences at UVM and shopping at the Burlington Farmers Market. Just remember that the goal is to share something new about yourself, not to rattle off a list of facts about the school! Talk about your interests, goals, and dreams so admissions can understand what a UVM education will mean to you.
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Our mouths started watering just reading this prompt. Like with all Oddball prompts, admissions just wants to give you the opportunity to get creative and think outside the box. UVM is going a step further this year by also asking you to talk about an issue that is dear to your heart. Don’t get too caught up in crafting the perfect blend of sweet and salty; instead, start by choosing the social issue that you’d like to raise awareness for and/or celebrate and then break down the elements and see if they relate to tastes. Let’s say your topic is wanting to close the gender pay gap. Maybe it’s called “82% Vanilla” (since, in 2022, it was reported that women make 82% on the dollar that men make on average) and it features a mostly vanilla base with a topping of chocolate fudge and cherry swirl that represent the 12% women deserve to reach equal pay. WIth a thin layer of crispy bruléed sugar on top to symbolize the glass ceiling that needs to be broken! There’s really no wrong way to answer this prompt, so long as you are being creative, true to yourself, and revealing new information about an issue that is important to you.
We all wear many hats, and UVM wants to hear about the ways in which your intersecting identities have shaped you. You’ll want to go beyond the standard “I’m a daughter/student/athlete” here and, instead, mine your life for other roles you play. Perhaps you’re a Vietnamese midwesterner foodie who can whip up fresh spring rolls with cilantro and shrimp for lunch and a steamy green bean casserole for dinner. How has cuisine and culture played a role in your identity and worldview? Maybe you’re a body-positive performer living with a physical disability who knows a thing or two about standing out in a crowd. How have the ways you move through the world and take up space impacted the way you interact with your surroundings? However your identities merge, get specific and explain what it’s like to be you and what the world looks like through your eyes.
Calling all nature lovers! Do you feel a profound connection to this planet we call home? Then this prompt is for you. UVM is proud to exist among mountains, forests, and farms in Burlington, Vermont, and admissions wants to learn more about what the environment means to you. Whether you’ve always been the outdoorsy type—spending weekends camping, ice skating, or fishing—or you’re a city gal excited to study somewhere where you can bike, hike, and kayak all in one day, take this opportunity to elaborate on how your environment inspires you. Are you hoping to major in Environmental Studies? Do you like to sit in the woods, meditating on the breeze in the trees and how connected all living things are? Does nature ground you? Your experience with the environment is personal, and if you feel comfortable, admissions would like to hear about it in your own words.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey…Alright, fine, maaaybe that song is a bit cliché at this point. But don’t underestimate the first few songs that pop into your head. You don’t have to say that your soundtrack song would be “Requiem” by Mozart or something by Enya to impress admissions here (unless you really feel that way, and, if that’s the case, rock on 🤘). Be true to yourself. Maybe the soundtrack of your life would be “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, because A) you’ve been itching to explore the world since you could walk and B) you and your sister sing-scream it at the top of your lungs anytime it comes on in the car. Or perhaps your song would be “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys 🔥 because you’re a tenacious competitor who has always had the fire in her belly. Whichever song you choose, be sure to include a brief explanation of your selection that reveals your personal connection to it, as well as new information about your interests or personality.