University of Colorado Boulder, also known as CU Boulder, is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and one of the oldest public universities in the Southwest. UC Boulder is a large university, with more than 30,000 undergraduate students enrolled every year. Founded in 1876, the university has been home to 12 Nobel laureates and 20 astronauts. In addition to its academic prestige, their athletic teams have won numerous national championships, most notably in skiing.
Accepted students had an average SAT of between 1140 and 1370 and an ACT of 25-30. While CU Boulder is a less selective university, having accepted 77% of applicants during the 2016-2017 applications cycle, the essay still plays a large role in admission. With the following guide, CollegeVine is here to help provide some tips on how to tackle this essay.
CU Boulder Application Essay Prompt
CU Boulder’s supplementary essay requires a response of between 250-650 words. This is a pretty wide berth, but overall it is best to stick to the longer end, in order to include as much detail in your response as possible.
Only First-Year/Freshman applicants are required to submit a personal statement.
The topics and tips outlined below are the same for the Common Application and the CSU Application. You’ll be prompted to type or copy/paste your personal statement into your application before you can submit.
Personal statement prompts:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
- Share an essay on any topic of your choice that helps us better understand who you are and what you’ll bring to our community.
- Thoughtful content and careful attention to quality writing can be compelling in admission and scholarship decisions.
- Demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts by keeping your essay focused on the topic you’ve chosen.
- This is not a writing sample or academic paper, it’s an opportunity for us to get to know you. Make it personal by sharing information specific to your experiences and perspective.
- Be sure the words are your own and (appropriately) reflect your personality. We want to get to know YOU, so use a “voice” that’s authentic.
- Plagiarism is grounds for immediate rejection of your application.
- Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal, though your response must be at least 250 words.