Good Topic Ideas for Admission Essays

It can be difficult to choose admission essay topics and then develop them into a worthwhile application essay. Your admission essay will be read by a university or college panel and the reader(s) will gain a good idea of the type of person you are from what you have written. They will be able to judge your communication skills, your ability to form opinions, your ability to think critically and how well you will fit into their institution. Although all this can be challenging, it is possible to find great topics. Just consider some important aspects of yourself. For example, what are your strong points? Support any claims with evidence of your achievements. Above all, stick with the topic because one of the most common mistakes with this type of writing is straying off course.    

No doubt you want the college you are targeting to see you as an individual who is motivated and unique – someone who is serious about achieving their goals and will be an asset to the college. At the same time, however, you don’t want to claim to be perfect in your college admissions essay or to claim you have no faults. This might indicate a lack of real-life experience.

Many students in the USA find that admission panels are impressed by candidates who show they can overcome obstacles and learn from mistakes. Hence, your admission essay could describe how you failed to come first in a science competition two years ago because you had chosen a project that was difficult to prove when you should have selected one where there was more substantial evidence. Even if you have won many accolades, you should focus on what you learnt from those occasions where you did not succeed.

Don’t blame others or use excuses e.g. you did not win a competition because someone in your family was ill the previous night or someone forgot to complete their part of the project, which led to you coming second place rather than first. Instead, you should show in your admissions essay that you are focused on getting better all the time. That you realize even the best made plans can become disrupted and that you are always prepared for the unexpected so that you can do your best to overcome any challenge.    

Ten Popular Admission Essay Topic Examples

  • Say why you took part in one or more volunteer/community project
  • Describe a time when you did not win and how you overcame some obstacle to succeed in another way
  • How you used dedication and hard work to achieve some personal accolade
  • Describe some particular traits you have - maybe something unique or a specific skill  
  • Tell of an adventure you took part in and what the experience taught you. This is a good option for anyone looking for interesting admission essay topics.
  • Talk about some skill or personal quality you are trying to develop because you admire those traits in someone else.
  • Describe something that touches you deeply and you are involved in
  • Tell how you got through a class you found very difficult
  • Describe something that helped you become a more responsible person
  • Tell of how you supported a friend or were supported by someone when you were in need.