short essay examples

Short Essay Examples

Writing essays can be one of the most daunting aspects of applying to college. From the personal statement to the extracurricular list to short answer essay questions, the way you communicate your experiences and personality within your application is crucial. Looking at short essay examples is an excellent way to prepare yourself to write your own. In this guide, we’ll provide several short essay examples to help you get a sense of what schools are looking for. 

We’ll break down the differences between short answer essay examples and long essays, give you some college essay tips, and provide a wide variety of short essay examples. Reading short essay examples for college can help you brainstorm how to structure your essays to best represent your personality. In this guide we’ll look at short essay examples from Columbia, Princeton, and many other schools and colleges. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by college application essays, then you’re in the right place!

But before getting into our short essay examples, let’s learn more about different types of essays and their requirements.

Essay Types and Requirements

Writing essays is a crucial part of the college admissions process. Therefore, learning about the different types of essays you’ll need to write in your college applications is a good place to start the process. There are three main types of essays you’ll encounter as you apply to college: personal statement, long/medium essays, short answer essay questions. 

Common App essay

The Common App essay, also known as a Personal Statement, is the most well-known college essay you’ll have to write. So, it is not surprising that most colleges require the Common App essay/personal statement as part of their application process. The word limit for the personal statement is 650 words, and is it usually the longest essay requirement. 

Supplemental essays

Supplemental essays vary in length; however, many colleges will have long/medium essay requirements in addition to short answer essay questions. Generally, long/medium essays are between 200-400 words. That being said, you should always review the essay requirements for each college well before the application deadlines as they will vary. 

Short answer essays

A sub-type of the supplemental essay format are short answer essay questions. It can be easy to leave the short answer essays to the last minute. However, since these essays usually have a word limit of 50-150 words, they can actually be the most difficult to write. Therefore, it’s important to dedicate enough time and energy to your short answer essays as they can help your application stand out. 

This guide will focus on short essay examples and college essay tips for short answer essay questions. Short answer essays can be challenging, especially given the small word limit. Indeed, it can be hard to adequately capture your personality and strengths in such a short format. We’ll cover short essay examples later in this guide to help inspire your writing process!

Short Essays vs. Long Essays

short essay examples

Managing all the different types of essays needed for your applications can be difficult. And, while the short essays may feel like they don’t take as much effort, they are just as important as the personal statement or other longer essays. 

In general, you’ll find long essays take longer to plan and edit. However, the benefit of longer essays is that you have more room to explore your ideas. Alternatively, short answer essays require you to be very intentional with every word. Therefore, they may be trickier to brainstorm and to edit down below the word limit.

Reading examples of college essays can give you a sense of how long and short essays differ, and how you should shift your approach for each. In fact, many of the short essay examples we’ve collected highlight just how impactful short answer essays can be at communicating your unique personality and interests. While long essays grant you more space, short answer essays can quickly help you stand out in the admissions process. 

Together, short and long essays help paint a holistic picture of who you are. Additionally, they help indicate if you’d be a good fit for a specific school. Reading through short answer essay examples can give you a feel of the pace and tone schools are looking for in this type of essay. 

Do all college applications require short essays?

short essay examples

No, not all colleges require short essays! While you research short essay examples, it’s good to keep in mind the essay requirements for each of the schools on your college list. 

You may encounter schools with a mix of short essays and long/medium essays, such as the University of Southern California or UT Austin. Some schools will only have long/medium essays in addition to the personal statement, like Vanderbilt and the University of Chicago. On the other hand, there are schools that don’t have any supplemental essay requirements, like Northeastern and Oberlin. As you make your college list, be sure to review the college admissions requirements for each school. 

What colleges require short essays?

Many different colleges require short essays. Later in this guide, we’ll look at short essay examples from Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia. However, many other schools have short essay questions.

Colleges with Short Essays

  • Brown University requires four short answer essays, ranging from 3 words to 100 words. 
  • California Institute of Technology (CalTech) has three optional short essays with word limits between 50-150 words. Given how competitive Caltech is, researching some short answer essay examples is wise!
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) requires five short essay responses as part of their application. Responses should be between 100-200 words.
  • University of Southern California has different short essay questions depending on your major. Check out the additional application requirements for the specific school you’re applying to. 
  • University of Notre Dame has five unique short essay prompts, and students have to pick three of them to complete. Each short essay has a word limit of 50 words. Students must also respond to two other essay prompts, and although not necessarily deemed “short” essays, they have word limits of only 150. 
  • Dartmouth College has three separate essay supplements; only one is considered “short” with a word limit of 100. Reading through college essay ideas can help you brainstorm your best Dartmouth short essay. 
  • Tufts University has two supplemental essay requirements, one of which is considered a short essay. For the Tufts short essay, all students must complete a sentence in 100 words or less explaining why they are applying. Take advantage of Tuft’s guide on tackling the short essay questions. 
  • University of Pennsylvania has two mandatory short answer essays and one that is major specific. Each has a word limit of 150-200 words. 
  • Virginia Tech has four required short essay prompts, each with a 120-word limit. 
  • Occidental College has one 20-word response supplemental essay as well as a 150-200 word essay among their essay requirements.

As you can see, short essays are prevalent in many schools’ essay requirements. Therefore, reading short essay examples will help you with your applications. And remember, be sure to check each school’s specific requirements as every school is different! Writing requirements can also change yearly so search the school’s site for the most up-to-date information.

Examples of Short Prompts

short essay examples

In this section, we’ve compiled several short essay examples for you. For these short essay examples, we’ve included several different answers to each prompt. This will help you see the wide variety of ways you can tackle short answer essay questions. For each prompt, we’ll give you some college essay tips, and break down ways you can approach these short essays. 

The following prompts are all variations on personal interest essays. In general, these short answer essay questions help admissions officers understand your unique perspective and how your interests have shaped your understanding of the world. You can use these short essay examples as a jumping off point to shape your own approach to personal interest short essays. 

Let’s check out the first prompt and three short essay examples that answer it. 

When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch? (50 word limit)

Response #1

Read: The New York Times, Vox, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Quora. Favorite authors include Siddhartha Mukherjee, Atul Gawande, Dushka Zapata, and Zora Neale Hurston. 

Listen: This American Life, The Daily, Radiolab, Invisibilia, U.S. and French pop. 

Watch: The Good Place, Brooklyn 99, YouTube science, baking, and fingerstyle guitar videos.

Response #2

Read: an unhealthy number of self-help books, re-reading Just Kids by Patti Smith, every one of Audre Lorde’s books… 

Listen to: Danez Smith’s slam poetry (my personal favorite? Dinosaurs in the Hood), Still Woozy, Invisibilia… 

Watch: all the television I was forbidden from watching when I was twelve, POSE, ContraPoints, YouTubers criticizing ContraPoints… 

Response #3

Read: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, The Wendigo, How To Write an Autobiographical Novel, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, weekly newsletter

Listen: Shostakovich, Lauv, Atlas, 20-hour-rain soundtrack on Spotify 

Watch: Avatar, Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, Hachi (if in the mood to cry), any Marvel movie!

These media focused short answer essay questions are very popular as your answer can say a lot about who you are! However, don’t try to be impressive or list things you haven’t actually read or watched – be honest and let your personality come through. 

Now, let’s look at some more prompts and their short essay examples:

Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists. (50 word limit)

I love literature and art that helps me explore my roots and learn to love myself. These works and authors include:The Color Purple, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,

Maya Angelou, Day of Tears, Hope for the Flowers, and Langston Hughes.

What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy? (50 word limit)

I enjoy newspapers and magazines that enable me to learn something everyday. I like National Geographic because it lets me learn more about science. Once it even inspired me to do a self directed project on albatrosses. I also enjoy The Economist as it gives me a well rounded view of today’s politics and economics.

What were your favorite events (e.g., performances, exhibits, competitions, conferences, etc.) in recent years? (50 word limit)

“December 24th, 9pm, Eastern Standard time.” Rent began. I was sitting in between my best friends. We were losing circulation in our hands from holding on too tight and washing off our make-up with our tears. I felt an immense sense of harmony with the play and it was fantastic.

These short essay examples show how robust of an answer you can write with 50 words. Furthermore, they’re great examples of how students are able to expand on their personal interests to create a cohesive story with their essays. Indeed, the best college essay ideas will strengthen your personal narrative, even within short responses! These short essay examples show how much you can learn about an applicant in minimal words.

Moving on from those unique prompts, let’s turn to a favorite among schools. You’re likely to see a version of the following prompt for many different colleges. 

Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50 word limit)

I live by my motto: “Dare!” in all instances of Truth or Dare.

Apparently, so do the students who brave Secret Snowflake. It spotlights what I love most, Truth or Dare minus the truth. Will I attempt to break the jalapeno eating record? Hop into The Claw in sub-zero temperatures?

We’ve included this Stanford prompt to highlight the ways in which short essay examples for college can also be used to gauge your knowledge about the school you’re applying to. Many college essay tips are school specific, but it’s important to think broadly when reading examples of college essays.

While some college essay advice may apply more to one school than another, many college essay tips can be used across various schools. This prompt highlights the importance of using research to demonstrate your interest in a school. 

In general, you might notice that many short essay examples have quite unique prompts. The following prompt is creative and fun, allowing students to take their response in any direction they want.  

Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? (50 word limit)

Response #1

I’d split my hour two ways, investing time in my own wellbeing and in others. Half I’d spend baking treats for friends, which would double as a personal gift, since I find baking—like running—relaxing and restorative. The second half I’d spend answering Quora questions—something I’ve been meaning to pay forward.

Response #2

At eight, I dreamed of becoming a YouTuber, documenting life in rectangular video. Each year, this dream drew further from reach.

With extra time, I’d retrieve what time stole. Creating comedic skits or simply talking about my day, I’d pursue what I value most—making others laugh and capturing beautiful moments.

These short essay examples demonstrate how one thought-provoking question can capture someone’s personality and values. College admissions officers use these questions to see how well a student knows themselves and what their priorities are. When reading examples of college essays, try to imagine how your answer will come across to a stranger. What details do you need to include to make sure your thoughts and ideas come across clearly? 

How to write a short answer essay for college?

short essay examples

After reading a couple of short essay examples, you may feel overwhelmed with how to answer the short answer essay questions. When you’re applying to college the short answer questions may be the last thing on your priority list. However, as our short answer essay examples demonstrate, short essays can help your application stand out. 

When you first approach a short essay prompt, feel free to break it down into even smaller parts. What is the core idea you’re trying to convey? Try to answer the prompt in a single answer, or even word, first. You can then use the remaining word count to explain or justify your answer. The best short essay examples get right to the point and communicate the answer clearly and concisely. 

Once you have a version you’re happy with, get some feedback! While the short answer essay examples we’ve included feel effortless, rest assured that they were edited and workshopped. Remember that the short essay examples paint a picture of the applicant– think about what you’re putting forward, and what assumptions the reader may make.

Planning your short essay responses

Despite the small word count, short essay examples for college require thoughtful planning and careful execution. Try reading the short answer essay examples as a college admissions officer might. What story is being told? Is it being told well? 

Then consider the response in the context of an application. Are you trying to highlight your experiences and how they relate to your major? Is there anything you’re proud of that you want to mention? Looking at the short essay examples holistically can help you see how other students have been able to shape a narrative, and, in turn, can help you map out yours. 

As our examples of college essays highlight, it’s important to be precise with your words – each word should have a role and work towards your overall answer. There’s no room for fluff here! 

Things to avoid in your short essay responses!

short essay examples

All of our short essay examples are well-written. However, it can be helpful to know what to stay away from in your responses.

Firstly, and most importantly, avoid generic answers. Have your answers be true to who you are, and allow them to display your unique personality. The short essay examples included in this article show how crucial personality is in the application process. Good short essay examples tell you something about the author and leave you with a better sense of who they are. 

When brainstorming college essay ideas, don’t try to create totally new interests to appear impressive. It’s hard to fake authenticity. As such, owning your experiences and hobbies will be more impactful than inventing them. The short answer essay questions are a tool to help bolster your application – use them that way!

The last thing to avoid when writing short essays is waiting until the last minute to get started. While it may be tempting to focus on your longer essays, it will be obvious to admissions officers if the short answer essay questions were rushed through. The short answer essay examples included here were not written the day of the application deadline – careful planning and drafting are essential! 

What is the format for a short essay?

The beauty of short essays is that there is no single format you have to follow. As demonstrated with our short essay examples, some answers come in list form and others in short paragraph form. So don’t be afraid to experiment with the format of your answers. But remember, answering the prompt directly and quickly will allow you room to explore your rationale – don’t make the college admissions officer search for your answer! 

Researching examples of college essays that experiment with form can help you think outside the box. There is no one formula for short essay examples, so let yourself be creative. With such a limited word count, you don’t have the space to build up to your answer. The short answer essay examples we’ve included here don’t follow the traditional essay format. Don’t be afraid to break away from traditional essay rules – as long as your essay response answers the prompt, it can take on any form!

As previously mentioned, we’ve got some school-specific essay examples in store for you – starting with examples for the Columbia essay.

Columbia Short Essay Examples

short essay examples

The Columbia essay, like all short essays, is an important part of the overall application. The short essay examples below can help you brainstorm your own responses and serve as a guide as you write your own Columbia essay. 

Let’s jump into our Columbia essay examples. Here are the prompts and the short essay examples: 

Columbia Essay Examples Guidelines

For the list question that follows, there is a 100-word maximum. Please refer to the below guidance when answering this question: 

  • Your response should be a list of items separated by commas or semicolons.
  • Items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. 
  • It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications.
  • No author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks are needed.

List a selection of texts, resources and outlets that have contributed to your intellectual development outside of academic courses, including but not limited to books, journals, websites, podcasts, essays, plays, presentations, videos, museums and other content that you enjoy. (100 words or fewer) 

1984, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Number the Stars, Beowulf, Into the Wild, The Crucible, The Art of Strategy, The New York Times, NBC News, NPR, The Associated Press, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, CNalaysis, Elections Daily, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Split Ticket, FiveThirtyEight, Twitter/X, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, Nature, Animal World, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Reviews, Timeline – World History Documentaries, History Matters, Mr. Beat, Oversimplified, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or fewer) 

Cultivates conversations that cross all boundaries and borders whether in the dorms of John Jay or at The Forum. 

A community that is collaborative but challenges individuals to be the best versions of themselves. 

Where a homebody can chill with a slice of Koronet pizza or go out for a night on the town. 

A campus spirited with the buzz and excitement of the city yet mellow with the rhythmic clicks and frantic thoughts in the library. 

Full of hands with sore thumbs and paper cuts from flipping through the pages of The Aeneid 

Where an introverted-extrovert can get lost in the crowds of 8 million people or among fellow students on the Van Am Quad. 


List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or fewer) 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or fewer) 

The Girls by Emma Cline, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or fewer) 

Time Magazine, (especially the Youtube channel), Vogue,

List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or fewer) 

Isolation Tour (Kali Uchis), American Teen Tour (Khalid), Music Midtown (Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Rainbow Kitten Surprise) – Freudian by Daniel Caesar, The New York Times Great Hall exhibit at the Newseum, “Pictures of the Year: 75 Years of the World’s Best Photography” at the Newseum – A Changing America at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, “The Future Is…” podcast summer series, Stuff You Should Know (podcast by HowStuffWorks), The Good Place, Mad Men

You’ll notice that all of the Columbia essay prompts are in list format. Therefore, they don’t leave you much room to explain or elaborate on your answers. The lists you create will speak for themselves. These short essay examples highlight the ways you can still create a strong narrative through the lists you make. 

Next, we’ll turn our attention to some great Princeton essay examples!

Princeton Short Essay Examples

short essay examples

Remember, when researching short essay examples for college, it can be helpful to have college-specific short essay examples. Let these short answer essay examples inspire you as you begin brainstorming your response for your own Princeton essay. 

Here are the Princeton essay examples:

What is a new skill you would like to learn in college? (50 words max) 

I would like to learn the important skill of team collaboration in college. Through research programs and student organizations, I will work within a team and navigate diverse perspectives. This will help prepare me for the collaborative complexities of the real world beyond the campus.

What brings you joy? (50 words max) 

One of my hobbies is building election models that predict the results of the next general election. It brings me great joy when I predict the results with profound accuracy, and even if I get some wrong, it’s all part of the unpredictable process—sometimes even my models need a recount!

What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment? (50 words max) 

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield represents the soundtrack of my life right now. Its lyrics mirror my journey of self-discovery and untapped potential. Lines like “Feel the rain on your skin; no one else can feel it for you” inspire me to embrace my responsibilities and savor life’s experiences.

When reading them as a whole, each Princeton essay should work to create a sense of who you are and what you’re interested in. When writing a Princeton essay, it can be tempting to come across a certain way, or try to mimic what you think college admissions officers want. However, it’s important to remain authentic in your essays and own your interests and passions. These short essay examples demonstrate this – the more authentic your answer, the better your essay will be! 

Below, we’ll wrap up our school-specific essay examples with one final school: Stanford.

Stanford Short Essays Examples

short essay examples

For the Stanford short essays, we’ve included more than one example for each prompt. With such a small word count, you’ll have to be super careful with your Stanford short essays. Read through these Stanford short essays to help jumpstart your writing process

Here are some short essay examples for the Stanford short essays: 

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50 word limit)

Response #1

The deterioration of political and personal empathy. There’s been an aggressive devaluing of inclusive mindsets and common ground rules—the kind of solidarity of purpose necessary to accommodate divergent viewpoints, respect evidence, share burdens, and tackle national/international emergencies like climate change and immigration. We are fumbling—in backwards tribalism—while the world burns.

Response #2

Where’s Waldo books. 

By searching for Waldo, we subconsciously teach children that certain people aren’t meant to belong–they are meant to be hunted. Our brains may be hardwired to notice people who are different, but we are instructed to treat those people differently. 

Searching for Waldo must be consciously unlearned. 

Response #3

Ignorance poses a paradoxical issue: we can’t solve a problem that we don’t know exists.

For fifteen years, I heard gentrification and thought humanitarian. The Oxford English Dictionary had even taught me that gentrification means “positive change.” How can such atrocities become noticed when our perceptions are so skewed?

Response #4

Greed. The root of all evil. To make momentous strides towards improving societal conditions, people and corporations must put aside their greed. Unfortunately, greed – the deep, dark desire for power and money – is the dominant force at work in many aspects of society, making it society’s most significant challenge.

These short answer essay examples highlight the different approaches you can take when answering this question. These short essay examples get to the point quickly– each example directly answers the prompt within a single sentence (or word), and then uses the remaining space to justify the answer. 

Now let’s look at the second prompt and short essay examples:

How did you spend your last two summers? (50 word limit)

Response #1

Learned to drive; internship in Silicon Valley (learned to live alone and cook for myself!); Governor’s Honors Program; AAJA JCamp in Detroit; wrote articles for The Borgen Project; lobbied at the Capitol and met Rep. Lucy McBath; Kenyon Review Young Writers in Ohio; read a whole lot.

Response #2

My goal: Adventure

2015: Moved from North Carolina to Texas (mission trip to Birmingham, Alabama in between), vacationed in Orlando.

2016: Math program at MIT in Boston, engineering program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, mission trip to Laredo, Texas, vacation to northern California including the lovely Palo Alto.

These short essay examples highlight the ways in which you can play with form. The first example is in list form, while the second breaks up the answer into an easily digestible format. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your form with the short answer essay questions – they don’t have to follow a traditional format.

Here’s the third prompt:

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit)

Response #1

Valentina Tereshkova’s 1963 spaceflight. Tereshkova’s skill, grit, and persistence carried her from working in a textile factory, through grueling tests and training, to becoming the first woman to fly solo in space. Her accomplishment remains symbolic of women’s empowerment and the expanded progress that’s possible with equity in STEM opportunities.

Response #2

In 2001, Egyptian authorities raided a gay nightclub, arresting 55 men. The prosecutors tried them under fujur laws—initially passed by Egyptian nationalists to counter British ‘immorality’ during colonization. 

Watching the prosecution construct homosexuality as un-Egyptian would illustrate the extent anti-Western sentiment drove homophobia and how similar anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric remains today. 

Response #3

Most definitely Paganini’s legendary one-stringed performance; one-by-one, his violin strings snapped mid-performance until he was left with only the G-string. Being Paganini, he simply continued to play flawlessly all on that single string!

Response #4

Change does not happen without courage. I wish I could have witnessed the courage it took for the four A&T students sit in at the Woolworth’s counter in my hometown, Greensboro, North Carolina. I want to see the light overcoming darkness that created a change to last forever.

When applying to college, you may encounter prompts like this one, where you’re expected to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of world events. These short answer essay examples demonstrate how you can display your personality and interests in prompts like these.

Let’s look to the fourth prompt:

What five words best describe you? (5 word limit)

Response #1

Speak up. Take action. Together.

Response #2

Peter Parker meets Atticus Finch

Response #3

The light of the world

Short answer essay questions like these can feel the most challenging, but don’t be afraid to get creative. They are meant to help capture the essence of your personality. These short essay examples for college highlight the ways these answers can have such a big impact, in such a small format.

What makes a short essay statement stand out?

short essay examples

When applying to college, there’s a lot of pressure to make your essays stand out. The best short essay examples help communicate the writer’s personality and interests clearly. Developing your personal writing style is key in having your short answer essay examples stand out. Start early and don’t be afraid to get creative!

It’s also important to consider how your essays will work together.Do they tell a cohesive narrative? Do they work to highlight different experiences but help connect your bigger picture message? Reading short essay examples with a focus on cohesion can help you map out your responses. 

The best way to have your short essays stand out is to plan them out carefully, and make sure they are authentic, demonstrating who you are and what you’re interested in. The best short essay examples feel genuine and convey a core aspect of the writer’s personality. Draft and edit your short essays until they feel right to you! 

Additional Short Essay Tips

In addition to outlining short essay examples for college, we’ve compiled some additional tips to help you get started with your college essay ideas:

Additional Short Essay Tips

1. Have a brain dumping session. 

When reading short essay examples for college, it can feel intimidating if you’re unsure of what to write about. Having a brain dumping session can be a great way to inspire the writing process and help you map out what you want to communicate. Don’t worry about structure or formatting; just free-write and let the words flow! 

2. Edit, edit, edit.

It’s likely that your first draft of short essays will go over the word limit, but don’t worry! The short essay examples included here were not first drafts – they were honed and edited down to their current versions. Keep this in mind as you read short essay examples for college, and be sure to plan enough time for the editing process when writing your own essays. 

3. Be truthful.

One thing all of our short answer essay examples have in common is that they are authentic to the writer. The best short essay examples make you feel closer to the writer. They should allow you to understand the writer on a deeper level. It can be tempting to embellish your short answer essay responses to match what you think a school wants to hear, but authenticity is hard to replicate. Therefore, be true to yourself when writing your short essay responses.

Other CollegeAdvisor Essay Resources to Explore

After you’ve explored the short answer essay examples outlined here, be sure to utilize the many other resources CollegeAdvisor has to offer. In addition to guidance on the overall admissions process, CollegeAdvisor has several other resources on writing essays. After reading these short answer essay examples, you can watch our webinars on essays: Writing About Extracurriculars in Your College Essays and Supplemental Essays

CollegeAdvisor also has ample resources on specific colleges. You can find additional short essay examples for Columbia, Barnard, and Stanford, as well as tips and tricks from former admissions officers. If you are looking for college admissions resources, CollegeAdvisor has you covered!

Short Essay Examples – Final Takeaways

short essay examples

While the short answer essays may seem like the easiest part of an application, using the limited word count in a smart, thoughtful way is challenging. The short essay examples for college highlight how impactful short essays can be in building out your overall candidate profile. As you start writing your short essay answers, be sure to remain authentic and truthful. And don’t be afraid to get creative! 

College essay writing can be stressful, but don’t let the short answer essay questions intimidate you– and definitely don’t leave them to the last minute! Take your time, plan thoughtfully, and be confident in your answers. The best short essay examples for college bring out your personality – be bold and rest assured that you’re putting your best foot forward. 

short essay examples

This article was written by senior advisor Jess Klein. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.