Essay Prompts

As a part of your application to SPU, you'll submit two essays. Each essay should be between 250 and 650 words, and they will help us better understand you, your experiences, and your skills as a writer.

Essay 1: Your personal statement/Common Application Essay

In the main portion of the Common Application, you'll be asked to select one of the following prompts:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.

Essay 2: Your SPU Essay

In the SPU Application, as well as the Common Application, you’ll respond to the following (in 250 to 500 words):

At Seattle Pacific, we encourage all students to explore or go deeper in Christian faith and to be inspired to make a difference. SPU’s vision means that you can pursue an education that helps you change the world for the better. How does Seattle Pacific’s vision align with your desires for college? How does your own faith perspective or personal story intersect with our vision?

Essay tips

Please write an essay that will help us get to know you apart from your grades and test scores. Example topics include:

  1. A major obstacle you have overcome.
  2. An experience that resulted in personal growth.
  3. A goal you are passionate about.
  4. An idea or concept that captivated your imagination
  5. A significant part of your identity, background, or story.

Be creative — but, even more importantly, be authentic.