Admission Essay Requirement
All students applying to the Tippie College of Business submit an admission essay of 300-500 words as part of their application to the college.
The admission essay requirement reinforces the college's emphasis on competency in written communication and on taking personal responsibility for your actions and learning from them. It also enables the admissions staff to learn more about you in a way that may not be captured by other parts of your application.
The admission essay required for admission should be about 300-500 words. There will be two topics for the admission essay; applicants may choose to write on one of the two topics.
Spring 2014 Admission Essay Questions (Choose one to write on):
- Discuss something you pretend to like but actually don't like. Why do you pretend? What would happen if you stopped pretending?
- Reflect on a situation in which you empowered someone. How were you changed by the experience? What lessons did you learn?
What to keep in mind when you write your admission essay
- Do focus on only one (at most two) key ideas or experiences
- Do provide insight into what drives you
- Do engage with the topic in a specific manner—answer the question being asked
- Do evaluate your experiences—take a specific position or stance—be thoughtful
- Do proofread for grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling errors
Weak admission essays also share certain characteristics.
What to avoid when writing your admission essay
- Don't repeat information already contained on the resume
- Don't go over 500 words—longer statements will not be read past the 500 word mark
- Don't use boring or over-used (clichéd) introductions and conclusions
- Don't describe a situation—the admission essay is not the same as a descriptive essay
- Don't preach or offer opinions about what other people or institutions should/should not do
Personal statements must meet at least two of the following three criteria:
- Personal statement presents a clear snapshot (picture) of the applicant—the applicant is able to differentiate himself or herself in some distinct way
- Personal statement shows evidence of the applicant's engagement and takes a thoughtful approach to future goals and/or past experiences
- Personal statement is free of distracting errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling
Students whose admission essays meet only one of the three criteria above will be required to attend a remedial workshop with the Judith R. Frank Business Communications Center staff on admission essay writing. They will then have one week following the workshop to revise and resubmit their admission essay, which will be evaluated again according to the same three criteria.
Students whose admission essays meet none of the three criteria will not qualify to take the remedial workshop and thus will not be able to meet the college's admissions standards for that session, however, they may reapply for a future session.
Frank Center staff will offer half-hour information/question and answer sessions in September regarding the admission essay. Students may not make an appointment with Frank Center tutors to review individual admission essays, as the Frank Center tutoring service is reserved for students who are currently Tippie College of Business students. Students may go to the UI's Writing Center in 110 EPB if they wish to have someone review their admission essay.
For more information, please refer to the Standard Admission FAQ.