Tufts Essay Questions 2011

Past Essays That Mattered

From the Readers

Students always ask about the essays. We get it: between topic selection, length, style, and message, there is a lot to think about. To make matters worse, you're probably also wondering what we'll think. We realize that the essay process is not an easy process (unless you drop one "s" and swap the other...bad joke?). So it's our pleasure to share with you some essays penned by recent applicants to Tufts—essays that stuck with us, essays that mattered.

What we love about these pieces is that they capture the distinct voices of the applicants. Some were conversational, some sarcastic, some compellingly serious—but they all forged a powerful human connection with us: the readers. They helped to set these students apart in our applicant pool because we could picture them as human beings and community members. They made us pause to laugh, think, or shout to the nearest fellow reader, "This kid is incredible." We hope that these essays will inspire you to find your unique voice as you craft your stories in the months to come and even—dare we say it?— to have some fun.

The Essays

Common Application: Past Essays

Why Tufts?: Past Essays

Let Your Life Speak: Past Essays

Supplement Essay #3: Past Essays

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Essay Questions

The Tufts Writing Supplement

When you visit the Common Application or the Coalition Application website to fill out and submit your application to Tufts, you'll notice that the application includes a writing supplement. The Tufts writing supplement consists of three required short response questions. We’ve created this page to allow you to peruse the questions without having to leave this site. Visit the Common Application site or the Coalition Application site when you’re actually ready to apply online.

Short Responses for the Class of 2022 (Required of all Applicants)

Think outside the box as you answer the following questions.  Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected.  Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. 

1. Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (50–100 words) 

2. There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today. (200–250 words) 

3. Now we’d like to know a little bit more about you.  Please respond to one of the following six questions (200-250 words). Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering should select from prompts A-E. Students applying to the SMFA at Tufts' BFA program or the Five-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree program must answer prompt F:

A) It's cool to be smart. Tell us about the subjects or ideas that excite your intellectual curiosity.

B) In a time when we’re always plugged in (and sometimes tuned out), tell us about a time when you listened, truly listened, to a person or a cause. How did that moment change you?

C) Celebrate the role of sports in your life. 

D) Whether you've built blanket forts or circuit boards, produced community theater or mixed media art installations, tell us: what have you invented, engineered, created, or designed? Or what do you hope to?

E) What makes you happy? Why?

F) Artist Bruce Nauman once said: "One of the factors that still keeps me in the studio is that every so often I have to more or less start all over." Everyone deals with failure differently; for most artists failure is an opportunity to start something new. Tell us about a time when you have failed and how that has influenced your art practice.   

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