About the Essay

An essay is required for first-year applicants and must be submitted in the space provided on the online application. The essay is an important factor in admissions decisions, and essays submitted separately from the application will not be considered.


The first-year essay for the application for 2017 will be new. Rutgers requires that you provide a short essay that is your original work. Please address one of the topics:

    • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

    • Describe a time you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.

    • Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?

    • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

    • Submit an essay on the topic of your choice.