Personal Essays | admission.gatech.edu | Georgia Institute of Technology | Atlanta, GA

Personal Essays

Included with the Common Application and Georgia Tech questions is one long essay and two short answer essays. The purpose of the essays is to assess your writing ability and, more importantly, to learn more about you as an individual. This portion of the application helps us get to know you, assess mutual fit and better understand what you could contribute to Georgia Tech.

2018 Common Application Personal Essay

The Common App Writing section includes a long essay (250-650 words). 2018 applicants will choose from one of seven 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 have 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. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 
2017 Georgia Tech Short Answer Questions

(2018 short answer questions will be available by June 1, 2017)

Additionally, you will be asked to respond to the prompts below on the Georgia Tech page on your My Colleges tab. The questions will be found in the Questions section - Other Information subsection.

  • Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? (max 150 words)
  • Please choose ONE of the following questions and provide an answer in 150 words or less.
    • Tech’s motto is Progress and Service. We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family? And how you seen evidence of your impact on them?  
    • Students are often told what classes they should take. If you had the opportunity to create a class, what would it be and why?
    • We challenge our students to "be comfortable being uncomfortable". Tell us about a time in high school that you felt outside of your comfort zone and the resolution.
What We Are Looking For

Essays are evaluated for both content and writing/grammatical skills. So, before submitting your application, you should take the time to edit and review your essay thoroughly. The traits of a strong essay include ones that:

  • Demonstrate authenticity
  • Brings you to life on paper
  • Are excellent in topic, style, and grammar
  • Demonstrate thoughtfulness

Our advice for completing this portion of the application

  • Get started early. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your essays!
  • Write and edit your essay in a document editor. Once you have the final draft, you can cut and paste it into your online application.
  • Don’t overthink it. It may not be easy to write about yourself, but just write what you feel most comfortable with.
  • Don’t write what you think we want to read. Write what you want to say!
  • Don’t blow off the essay! We wouldn’t ask you to write it if we didn’t find it to be an important way to get to know you, and what you have to bring to Georgia Tech.
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