Essay Questions and Instructions
If you haven't submitted your application for admission, you will need to do so before
submitting your essay response. You should submit your essay response
in your portal. You will be prompted to log in to your application account.
Respond to one of the following questions using between 250 - 650 words.
- 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?
- Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
- 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. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Your essay response is used in our comprehensive review process if you do not meet assured admission criteria, as well as for select scholarships. You are not required to submit an essay if you meet OSU’s assured admission criteria and do not wish to be considered for all scholarships.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is an response to the application scholarship/essay questions required?An essay response is not required, but at OSU, we want to look beyond your GPA and test score to see what experiences have shaped you and what drives you to be successful. Essay responses are used for holistic and alternative admission decisions, as well as for select scholarships.
- Are the essay prompts different for the Common App?No, the essay prompts are the same on the Common Application and the OSU application. By submitting one essay response as well as your leadership and involvement resume, you'll receive maximum scholarship consideration. Learn more about the Common App process.
- Do I have to submit my essay response with my application?No, you can submit your essay response at a later date. You will be prompted to log in to your application account. You will not be penalized in any way for submitting your essay later. We encourage you to submit your essay response before February 1 for maximum scholarship consideration.
- Can I resubmit my response to the application/scholarship essay questions?
- How can I get help writing my essay?
- Can I submit more than one essay question response?No. Please respond to only one of the seven questions using between 250 - 650 words. Students who have a strong desire to present themselves through a creative component may do so, in addition to the one essay response. There is no negative impact on the application evaluation if you do not submit this supplement.
- How will my essay be reviewed?
Essays are reviewed by OSU professionals who aim to identify your leadership abilities by evaluating your responses for analytical, practical, creative and wisdom-based skills.
- If I don't meet assured admission requirements, when will I be informed of an admission
decision?Students who don't meet our assured admission criteria will be reviewed as part of our comprehensive review process. After receiving a complete application (including the essay response), the admission review committee will meet to review your application components. Applications are reviewed in the order they were received, and students will be notified when a decision is made.