The Common Application essay prompts for 2014 are here!

Lawrence University is an exclusive user of the Common Application. The newly overhauled version of the “Common App” for the 2014 academic year goes live on August 1, 2013, but the Common App board has already released the new essay prompts. If you want to start thinking about the prompts, and maybe even drafting some early versions of your essay, here is what you’ll find on August 1:

Instructions. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don’t feel obligated to do so. (The application won’t accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

So last night we had this reverse radio call-in show…

Last night, for students who had not yet finalized their college plans, we hosted Lawrence’s first “Reverse Radio Call-In Show” using some technology that involves robo-calling. (That we did so during an election cycle gave us pause, knowing that many households still attached to landlines are receiving calls from various and sundry political candidates).

On the phone with me were Dean of Student Affairs, Nancy Truesdell, and Dean of the Conservatory, Brian Pertl. They answered questions from students calling in from coast to coast. Seriously. We had students from Boston and students from Alaska–and many places in between–on the line last night.

If you have half an hour to burn, you can listen to a recording of the phonecast here (skip past the first 30 seconds unless you like hearing a lot of back chatter). It works well if you’re looking for answers to questions about student life (including a great question about starting a formal group house dedicated to “slow-food cooking”) and life in the Conservatory of Music. It also works well if you’re having a hard time sleeping and you find the dulcet tones of university administrators to have a soporific effect.

Phonecast May 1

On May 1 at 7 p.m. CST, we’ll be holding a last-minute phonecast for students and families who may have some last-minute questions before they make their final decisions. On the line with the dean of admissions and financial aid will be members of the Lawrence community who can have a live conversation with you and your fellow admitted students (and their families). It’ll be like a radio call-in show, except we’ll be calling you using some kind of new-fangled robo-calling equipment. If you’re interested, simply pick up the phone. If you’d rather not be bothered by it, please ignore the call.

Remember us?

It has been an awfully long time since our last post, which I believe is sinful of a cardinal order in the blog world.

(We have an excuse. Really. Honestly. It’s legit.)

We’ve been in admission committee pretty solidly for the past few weeks, coming up occasionally for air to meet and greet the caravan of visitors coming to campus. We’re pretty much done with the first part, but won’t be done (and we’re happy not to be done) with the second part till early May.

So, in other words, sorry to have been gone so long. For our next few blog posts, we’ll provide some answers to those “Now that I’ve been admitted, what happens next?” questions.

For starters, feel free to meet some of your classmates on the Facebook*: Lawrence University Class of 2016

* definitive article, “the,” applied ironically to make the author appear out of touch with nifty social media




Dearest Lawrence, When will I hear about my admission decision?

Great question. We get it quite often at this time of year.

We’re currently signing all of our decision letters. (If you must know, I’m actually typing this while reaching over a pile of decision letters to do so.)

Our plan is to have these decisions in the mail by the end of this week and into your hands next week.

Feel free to get in touch with your Lawrence admissions counselor with questions about your status.