Essay Questions and Instructions
If you haven't submitted your application for admission, you will need to do so before
submitting your essay responses. You should submit your essay responses
in your portal. You will be prompted to log in to your application account.
Respond to two of the following questions using no more than 300 words per essay. Please note that the essay questions change every year on July 1.
- “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome,” Booker T. Washington said. Describe an obstacle you have faced and the steps you took to overcome it.
- “Sometimes we need someone to turn the flashlight on for us. Other times we need to turn it on for others,” Lizzie Velasquez said. How have you acted as a guiding light for others?
- Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why that quotation describes you so well.
- Studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories than other senses. Describe a favorite smell of yours and the imagery it evokes.
Essay responses are 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 essays if you meet OSU’s assured admission criteria and do not wish to be considered for all scholarships.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are responses to the application scholarship/essay questions required?Essay responses are 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.
- Do I have to submit my essay responses with my application?No, you can submit your essay responses 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 essays later. We encourage you to submit essay responses before February 1 for maximum scholarship consideration.
- Can I resubmit my responses to the application/scholarship essay questions?
- How can I get help writing my essays?
- Can I submit more than two essay question responses?No. Please respond to only two of the four questions with each response limited to 300 words or less. Students who have a strong desire to present themselves through a creative component may do so, in addition to the two essay responses. There is no negative impact on the application evaluation if you do not submit this supplement.
- Can I respond to the same question twice?
No. Please select two different questions for your responses.
- How will my essays 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 2 essay responses), 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.