University of California—New Essay Prompts

The University of California system announced today that for the first time in ten years, they will be changing the essay prompts for their applications. Instead of  the two essay prompts comprised of a response totalling 1,000 words, the student will now have  the following options:

  • Eight essay prompts to choose from (the student selects four essays from the eight options)
  • Each essay prompt will have a maximum of 350 words

The intention of this change is to (1)allow the students to select the questions that they want, (2) that are most relevant to their experience (3) and that are reflective of their individual circumstances.

There will be not be any questions that are considered any more or less important than others and they will all be given equal consideration in the application process.

We have attached a document containing the eight questions that students will select from. There is also a worksheet that will assist students in helping to brainstorm ideas for each of the questions which we will discuss and distribute to parents during their family meetings to be held beginning the week of April 11, 2016.

During the summer, it would be a great exercise for students to begin formulating the answers to these essay prompts so that they can get a ‘headstart’ on their college applications for senior year. While these essay prompts are specifically for the UC applications, many of these are similar to other essays that are included on the Common Application and other college applications. Therefore, if students have completed these essays, they may be able to ‘repurpose’ them and use them for other college applications.

Please remember to sign up for your appointment for your family meeting ( links on Sign-up Genius) and contact your counselor if you have any questions!

Da Vinci Design Counseling Team

Karen Grace-Baker(Ms. KGB)

Erin Knott

Nicole Cabalar