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Successful College Essays Admitted to Top Universities

This page features all of the successful college essays available within Inline, from Common App essays to college supplement essays and short answers. Use them to see what it takes to get into top schools and get inspiration for your own application.

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Activity Sample 2

Last summer, I landed an internship that gave me the opportunity to do field testing of environmental equipment measuring air pollution.
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Activity Sample 3

I would continue working for my school publication because the experience has led to my development as a writer, leader, and contributor to my school.
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Activity Sample 4

Below are 10 samples of responses to the activity/work experience short answer question. They touch on the most common types of activities and work experiences and should give you a great starting point for your own answer.
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Activity Sample 5

When I transferred to my new school, the first club that I joined was Project Green.
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Activity Sample 6

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve drawn. First with crayons, but once I discovered pencils, they’ve been the only medium for me. I carry a sketch book everywhere I go.
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Activity Sample 8

Formula One racing, a global motor racing sport barely known in the US, is MY spectator sport. It is truly a contest in strategy, engineering, and flat out speed.
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Commentary Quote Response Sample 1

When I chose to travel to Costa Rica to learn about tropical medicine the summer after my sophomore year, I expected to learn all about infectious diseases and their pharmaceutical treatments.
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Commentary Quote Response Sample 2

I screw my eyes shut, then slowly peek at the screen. It worked! I jump up and down waiting for the capture to finish, frantically print off a copy, and race down the hallway to compare it to my notes.
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Common App Accomplishment Personal Growth Sample 1

I wake up on a cool Colorado morning and look out the window at the mountain ridges. Today is the “Elk Hike,” a ten-year tradition in my family and part of our week-long summer trip to Colorado.
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Common App Background/Interest Sample 1

My home swaddles me in the history of my family. My ancestor's loopy cursive traverses the old documents hanging in our living room and each night I dive into the bed onto which my great-grandmother etched little notes when she was my age.
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Common App Challenge Belief Sample 1

I was “born again” as agnostic in 10th grade. This shift in my religious beliefs posed a challenge to everyone around me. I grew up in a Catholic household.
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Common App Lose Track of Time Sample 1

Almost three years ago, I raced up the winding staircase of the New England Conservatory to the third floor, hoping for help from my new clarinet teacher.
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Common App Obstacles/Setback Sample 1

Beads of sweat pooled at the end of my nose. I watched as they wavered, finally falling, hitting my blue mat and exploding. I turned and observed the girl next to me.
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Creative Sample 1

Where I'm From*I am from shin guards from Tide and OxiClean.
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Dreams Goals Sample 1

My path to engineering is a relatively straight line through a series of summer experiences starting with a visit to an orphanage in Soweto during a family vacation.
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Dreams Goals Sample 2

For me, it all starts with a visit to an orphanage in Soweto during a family vacation when I was in elementary school.
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Dreams Goals Sample 3

I love experimenting and I especially love designing and carrying out my own experiments. I came back to school this fall ready with experiments designed to demonstrate the relationship between a bubble’s diameter and its expansion before it pops.
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Dreams Goals Sample 4

He clutched my hand and refused to let go. He repeated his request that I take him with me.
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Favorites By Category

Those that I have grown with: Harry Potter Series: Still angry I didn’t get my letter when I turned 11. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: I have grown with the main character.
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Favorites Sample 1

Amidst the piles of Elle and Entertainment Weekly that sit atop my coffee table, the one subscription that I always read backwards and forwards is Reader’s Digest.
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Favorites Sample 2

My favorite word? “Chama,” a Venezuelan word that refers to a girl. It is a word unique to my home country; everyone there uses it in casual conversation (along with its corresponding word for boy, chamo)
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Formative Background Sample 1

5:51am. I hear the alarm go off. I open my eyes, turn on the lights, and see the mural that has been on my wall ever since I was born. My oldest sister, Betsy, picks flowers while my middle sister Jenny swings and I host a tea party in the elaborate garden.
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Formative Background Sample 2

I first moved to Dubai when I was just a year old. It was the year 2000, the beginning of a new millennium. Of course, I was too young to remember anything really, but what I do remember was a landscape covered in sand.
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Formative Community Sample 1

In 1995, when I was only 3, my father and my uncle made a decision to move their families from the sophisticated, bustling city of Cairo to a farming village on the fringe of the city.
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Formative Community Sample 2

Although I grew up in Massachusetts, my parents are Chinese immigrants and it's important to me to retain my Chinese heritage.
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