Each year, the Schreyer Honors College requires potential Scholars to answer three essay questions. These questions change on a yearly basis and are meant to elicit well-written, comprehensive responses. Essay responses do not have word count or formatting requirements.
The essay questions are posted here a few months before the Penn State and Schreyer Honors College application is made available on September 1. We strongly encourage you to begin working on your essays immediately after they are posted.
2018 Essay Questions
- It has been said that art imitates life, which implies that what we see depicted in entertainment is merely a reflection of what is happening in real life. Review this video clip and tell us if you believe it reflects experiences of teenagers in the world today. In your response, address the ethical issues presented in this clip and how you would address them.
- Following the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England in May of 2017, the artist and her management team decided to hold a benefit concert to raise money for those injured and killed during the bombing and to spread a message of love and unity after the attack. Do you think the arts can play a role in solving international conflicts? Please cite examples to support your perspective.
- In the last few years, youth around the world have gravitated toward podcasts, YouTube, blogs and social media for educational and entertainment purposes. Please list one or two of these different types of media that you follow or subscribe to and explain why you identify with and consume their content. Note: please be mindful that some application readers may not be familiar with media platforms you mention in your response.
I have boy/girl twins who both applied to UK with similar resumes:
-34 ACT (single sitting)
-AP Scholar with Distinction (5 APs junior year, 4 more senior year)
-multi-sport varsity athlete
-3.9+ UW GPA
-hundreds of service hours
-Kentucky Governor's Scholar
The major differences between the two is that DD is Valedictorian, Class Vice-President and had a part-time job. DS played three sports (Captain of one), while DD played two (allowing her time to work). DD was accepted into UK's Honors program, but son was rejected.
When I called to discuss with UK, they said they had received over 2,000 applications for 400 spots. I pushed for more information and found that they accepted 700 applicants to fill the 400. When I asked why DS was rejected, she said he had an outstanding record but his essays were rated "Acceptable", which is apparently a middling grade. That was enough to knock him out of consideration, even though he is more math/science oriented and writing is not a strength. There is no appeal process available.
I am astonished that four years of hard work are overshadowed by essays. I tend to believe that politics must have entered in to the process somehow. They attend a small, Catholic school in Kentucky with only 52 graduates in their class. Perhaps they are only allocated one slot for the Honors program? DS was accepted EA at Notre Dame - has UK's Honor College become more selective than UND?
Even more baffling is that as an NMF, UK has awarded DS a virtual full-ride scholarship. As a Kentucky tax-payer, I hope they are not offering more than 400 full-rides to the incoming freshman class. When I pointed this out to the Honors College rep, she responded that the Honors College admission process is separate from the scholarship process.
I saw on another thread someone who was accepted in the Honors College with an ACT of 30, but no other information. Does anyone know any more information about how the process works or statistics about those accepted?
I hope I have not been too overbearing in this post. It certainly is possible that I think more highly of my children than I should. Hopefully the FA from Notre Dame will be generous and will make his decision easy.
Post edited by rmldad on
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