13 College Essay Prompts and Topics 2022


The Common Application is officially open, and many college-bound high school students are hard at work on their college applications. In addition to the main Common App essay, many schools might also require supplements that include some thoughtful – and downright quirky – essay prompts and short answer questions.

These fun and funky essay prompts are meant to challenge students and make the college admissions process a little more enjoyable. After all, students love to write about what matters to them. However, because many of these prompts are so out-of-the-box, many students might struggle with how to address these quirky essay prompts. It’s important for students to get creative and seek feedback when they need it.

2022 Quirky College Essay Prompts

Here are some of our favorite quirky college application essay prompts from the 2022-23 college admissions season:

Bowdoin College: Generations of students have found connection and meaning in Bowdoin’s “The Offer of the College,” written in 1906 by Bowdoin President William DeWitt Hyde. Which line from The Offer resonates most with you?

To be at home in all lands and all ages;
to count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
and Art an intimate friend;
to gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work
and the criticism of your own;
to carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket,
and feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
to make hosts of friends…who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms and cooperate with others for common ends –
this is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.

Elon University: What three emojis/GIFs do you use most often? Why?

Emory University: Share a time when you were awestruck.

Occidental College: What is the first song you would play for your Oxy roommate on move-in day?

Pitzer College: Two of our favorite murals on campus have quotes that read, “Be your own weird” and “You are of this place – it is changing you”. If you could add an inspirational quote or art piece to our campus, what would it be and why

Pomona College: At Pomona, we celebrate and identify with the number 47. Share with us one of your quirky personal, family, or community traditions and why you hold on to it.

Princeton University: What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

Stanford University: What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

University of Chicago: What advice would a wisdom tooth have?

University of Maryland: My favorite thing about last Wednesday was…

University of Southern California: What is your favorite snack?

University of Virginia: What is the last gift you gave someone that wasn’t bought with money?

Wake Forest University: Give us your Top Ten list.

Supplemental essay prompts and short answer questions are just as important as your personal statement, so take some time to carefully brainstorm, draft, and edit your responses. Don’t just rush through these because they seem easy! Be thoughtful and try to reveal something new about yourself.

Now that you know the quirky essay topics, here comes the next challenge – what to write. Head to our piece on how to answer college essay questions.

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