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College essay questions get weird

Dec. 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. colleges are adding unusual questions to their applications, including the University of Maryland asking to share "my favorite thing about last Tuesday."

The question, which the university asks applicants to answer in 25 words or less, is part of a recent trend of schools asking short answer questions on subjects atypical for a college application, such as New York's Columbia University asking applicants to describe "the best movie of all time" with brevity, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

"Imagine you have to wear a costume for a year of your life. What would you pick and why?" asks Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

"What is your favorite ride at the amusement park? How does this reflect your approach to life?" Emory University in Atlanta asks applicants.

Katherine Cohen, a college consultant and founder of IvyWise.com, said the questions are designed to help college officials become acquainted with applicants in ways that might not have been possible with typical application essays.

"You really get a totally different feel for who that person is, especially with the short takes. It allows colleges to learn things they may not get from a transcript and a resume," she said. "That's why they're fun."

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