University Of Maryland Application Essay Questions 2012

Prompt: The University of Maryland prides itself on being an inclusive community that celebrates differences, brings together people from the widest array of backgrounds and perspectives, and recognizes that excellence cannot be achieved without diversity. What do you look forward to gaining from the diversity of the University of Maryland community?

Imagine being a teenager in this day and age having to adhere to all these rules: no parties, no going out on Friday nights or Saturdays, no pork, no seafood, no caffeine, and no jewelry. Can’t? Well I can; it’s my life. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist. I worship on the Sabbath, which starts on sunset Friday and ends on sunset Saturday. I can’t even count how many times my friends ask me “Your ears aren’t pierced?” or “You didn’t go to Homecoming?” or my personal favorite: “You’ve never seen Saturday morning cartoons?” People call me weird, and feel sorry for me because I miss out on all the “fun” Saturdays supposedly bring. I remember that I used to feel sorry for myself too. But I think Saturdays are fun in my own way. I like going to church, and after we have a family lunch – the only time my family actually sits down and eats together. This is what makes me different. I don’t mind being unique though, because I like people and things that are different. It makes things more interesting. So many conversations have been started with people asking me about my religion. So many friends have been made. So I look forward to being in a place where more people can ask me questions, and I can ask them questions, too. I’m sure there are even more interesting religions or cultures out there, and I would like to know.

Essay Questions

The essay is just one of the 26 factors we use as part of our holistic application review for prospective freshmen.

The essay provides you with the opportunity to showcase aspects of your personality and experiences that fit well with the University of Maryland community. When considering your approach to the following essay questions, think deeply about your answer, making it creative and succinct. Use this opportunity as a time for self-reflection and intellectual meditation. You can review some helpful essay writing tips provided by The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success.


Please answer one of the following essay questions in your application. Make sure to include the question itself at the start of your essay. Your essay should be no more than 550 words; the question will not be included in the essay total word count. 

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. 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?
  4. 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)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
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