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You are encouraged to respond to essays to present the best application possible. We want to look beyond your GPA and test score to see what experiences have shaped you and what drives you to be successful. Essay responses are used in our comprehensive review process if you do not meet assured admission criteria, as well as for select scholarships. You are not required to submit essays if you meet OSU’s assured admission criteria and do not wish to be considered for all scholarships.
If you have already submitted your OSU application for admission and did not respond to the essays, you may complete them and submit them at a later date. Essays must be submitted by February 1 for full scholarship consideration.
Need help getting started? Check out our tips to crafting a powerful essay and example responses.
If you haven't previously submitted your application for admission, you will need to do so before submitting your essay responses. Submit your essay responses online. You will be prompted to log in to your application account. If you have questions about how to submit your responses, read our Frequently-Asked Questions.
Essay Questions and Instructions
Respond to two of the following questions using no more than 300 words per essay. Please note that the essay questions change every year on July 1.
Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why it describes you so well.
Suppose you could start a nonprofit organization to benefit others. Why is your organization important, and what steps would you take to make it a success?
“Sometimes we need someone to turn the flashlight on for us. Other times we need to turn it on for others,” author and motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez said. How have you acted as a leading light for others?
Imagine you have just won a contest and the prize is a free, personalized airplane banner flown anywhere. Your banner is limited to 40 characters, including spaces. What do you want your banner to say, and where would you want it flown? Explain why.
You have the option to submit a creative supplement that displays your potential as part of your application. Please include 3-5 sentences explaining your concept and the mediums or tools used. Your submission could include, but is not limited to: an original song, piece of artwork, blueprint or fashion design. There is no negative impact on the application evaluation should you choose not to respond. This is an option for students who have a strong desire to present themselves through a creative component.
Before submitting a creative piece, please review the Creative Supplement Frequently Asked Questions.
OSU is seeking students who will be active citizens and future leaders who will make a positive, meaningful and enduring difference to the world. We want to look beyond your GPA and test score to see what experiences have shaped you and what drives you to be successful.
Use the tips below to craft your own powerful essay response so we can learn more about what makes you a leader and scholar.
- Make it personal and be original: Be honest and authentic in your responses. Don't be afraid to discuss struggles or hardships that have led you to this point.
- Demonstrate passion: Tell us what excites you. We love that our students are passionate about a variety of subjects and interests.
- Write about what you know: You are the expert on you! Use anecdotes and personal experiences to frame your essay responses.
- Take your time: It's important to take your time completing your essay responses. Submit your application and then submit your essays online at a later date. You will be prompted to log in to your application account.
- Edit and spell check: After you've written your essay responses, make sure to reread and review with a fresh set of eyes to make sure you're presenting yourself in the best manner possible for admission and scholarship consideration.