How to Write the Auburn University Essays 2019-2020

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Auburn University is a large public research university located in Auburn, Alabama. AU offers students over 140 undergraduate majors housed in 13 colleges and a student to faculty ratio of 19:1. 

 

AU also takes great pride in the Auburn Tigers, its Division I football team, and unique college transition programs, such as Camp War Eagle, that help build camaraderie among the student body. 

 

Auburn has a 81% acceptance rate. Students can apply via to the university through their online application portal. Auburn University does not accept the Common Application or the Coalition Application. 

 

For All Applicants

 

In 1943, Dr. George Petrie penned “The Auburn Creed” in which he identified many of the ideals of the Auburn Family. Values such as hard work, honesty, patriotism and kindness were evident then and remain true in Auburn men and women today.

Read through The Auburn Creed and choose a stanza that is meaningful to you. Using that stanza, tell us how you would “Live the Creed” as a freshman at Auburn University (500 words).

 

This prompt asks you to select a stanza in the Auburn creed and describe how you would live the creed as a member of the Auburn student body. Choose a stanza that will allow you to provide concrete, practical examples to best illustrate how you would embody the creed.

 

For example, you may have a difficult time providing examples for the final stanza, which states that “because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and I love it.” Focusing on the stanzas that allow you to have more distinct themes—such as education or honesty—will allow you to have a more comprehensive response. 

 

Once you have chosen a stanza, think about the ways you could implement its values into your life at school. How would you embody honesty as a student at Auburn? How would you value education as a student at Auburn?

 

Go beyond the simple answers, such as saying you would study hard to live up to the education stanza. Instead, write about how you would take advantage of Auburn’s curriculum to study new disciplines that would help open your mind. If you choose the stanza about obedience to the law, you could write about your desire to participate on the student judicial council and the importance of adhering to university rules. 

 

You could also use this space to showcase your knowledge of Auburn by providing school-specific answers. Auburn provides a comprehensive list of faculty members, courses, and student clubs on their website. For example, while discussing the importance of athletics, you could write about your desire to join Auburn’s club powerlifting team. 

 

Short Answer

 

All freshman applicants must select and respond to two short answer prompts. Answers are limited to no more than 250 words. Please select two of the following questions to answer.

 

These prompts seek to assess your creativity and reasoning. There are no correct answers, so long as you can provide meaningful explanations for your responses. Be aware that you have limited space, as 250 words are around half a page of double-spaced text. 

 

Aim to make your responses as different from each other as possible, as you want to share as much as you can about yourself to the admissions committee. For example, if you write that you would adapt to not having a cell phone by using your organization skills to have a planner, do not also write about the fact you enjoy Mondays because you use them to organize your week.

 

Option 1: Which is worse – failing or never trying?

 

Although you have a limited word count, consider opening this prompt with a brief anecdote about either a time that you failed or a time you chose not to try something new. Remember the classic writing adage “show, don’t tell”–an anecdote will help draw your reader’s attention and provide more depth to your answer. 

 

For example, you could write about the time that you tried to make a difficult recipe with a friend and it did not turn out as you expected. You could also write about the time you decided not to try a difficult gymnastics stunt because you knew that you weren’t ready to tackle it yet and needed extra time to practice. 

 

Connect your anecdote to your answer to the question. Make sure that your answer is specific and detailed, as a vague answer leaves your reader with little valuable information. Describe why you believe it worse not to try than to fail. What do you believe can be gained from failure? What is the biggest downside of not trying new things? 

 

For example, you could discuss how your failed recipe was still a fun bonding moment with your friend and inspired you to begin taking culinary classes. You could then explain that you believe not trying is worse than failing because it does not allow personal growth or the comedic memories that arise from failures. 

 

Alternatively, you could talk about how your decision not to complete a gymnastics stunt kept you from getting severely injured. You could then discuss how choosing not to try something new can be a sign of maturity and self-awareness. 

 

Option 2: If given no access to a cell phone during your freshman year of college, how would you adjust to that being your new normal? What resources would you have to invest in to take place of your cell phone?

 

This prompt asks how you would adjust to not having a cell phone. Although you can briefly discuss that you would feel stressed or unhappy, your response should revolve around how you would cope with the lifestyle change. 

 

Everyone will write about the challenges you would face if they could not use their phone to contact people. To stand out, think about the challenges you would face if you did not have your cell phone. 

 

Outside of the phone calls or text messages, how do you use your phone every day? Do you use your phone to track your daily runs? Do you use an organizer app such as OneNote? Do you rely on your phone to check the daily news? 

 

Although it may seem like a clever workaround to the prompt, responding you would spend more time on your computer or tablet will not allow you to write a substantial explanation. Instead, imagine that you needed to figure out these challenges without substituting in a new technology. 

 

For example, you could write about how you would plan times to call home or talk to friends. You could then discuss how you would plan your runs using maps and invest in a planner so that you can keep up on your organization. You could also write about how you would subscribe to a weekly edition of the New York Times

 

Option 3: How do you feel about Mondays?

 

Your feelings towards Monday are not as important as your explanation in answering this prompt. Focus on explaining why you have your feeling towards Mondays. Are you excited by the start of the week? Do Mondays overwhelm you with the thought of everything that needs to happen this week? Do you love Mondays because of your weekly dance lessons?

 

Considering opening your essay with a brief anecdote about your average Monday to pull in your reader. Talk your reader through your groggy Monday morning as you stumble out of bed, throw on some clothes, and drive to class. Allow your reader to experience Monday morning with you by describing your weary eyes as reach for coffee and a granola bar on your way out, and how you slowly perk up while listening to the latest hits in your car.

 

Once you have written an anecdote, explicitly state your feeling about Mondays and explain why you feel this way. For example, you could write about how you have mixed feelings about Mondays. Although you find Mondays daunting, you grow excited by the opportunities offered in a new week.

 

Option 4: If you could have chosen your own name, what would you have picked?

 

Although it is easy to select a name you enjoy, it is more challenging to find a compelling reason for why you chose that name. Your explanation for your name choice should go beyond thinking the name sounds pretty.

 

Instead, think about a name that has significance to you. Is there a relative who means a lot to you or your family? Is there a book character who inspires you to be a better version of yourself? Is there a name whose meaning is important to you? 

 

If you choose to write about a person or character, make sure to explain why this character or person is meaningful to you. What personality traits do they embody? How did they positively influence your life?

 

For example, you could write about how your Aunt Ruth’s love of helping others inspired your own love of community service, and you would love to honor her memory by taking on her name. Alternatively, you could write about the various struggles you have overcome, and how you would want to be named Audra as a tribute to your strength and ability to persevere. 

 

Option 5: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

 

Topic choice is important for this prompt. Avoid songs with controversial or lewd lyrics, as they may isolate your reader. If you are not sure whether a song is appropriate, err on the side of caution and select another song.

 

You should be able to clearly explain why your selection would be your theme song. Although you may love the melody of Avicii’s Levels, this reason would not allow you to write a meaningful response to the question. Is there a song whose lyrics also inspire you to keep pushing forward or perfectly describes one of your personal struggles? Is there a song that always brings you back to a specific time or place? 

 

For example, you could write about how the Friends theme song reminds you of watching reruns as a child and your long-held desire to move to New York City. You could write about how “Fight Song” always inspired you when you were feeling down and struggling to get back to normal after a concussion.

 

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