Freakonomics Essay Prompts

With only a little over 1,900 students gaining admission out of an applicant pool of about 43,300, Harvard College’s acceptance rate for the class of 2023 came in at a record low of 4.5%.

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Similar to the previous example, perhaps this experience heightened your passion for history and created a newfound love for linguistics, as you began to notice both the subtle and drastic differences between languages.

Perhaps the overlap between history and linguistics is now a discipline you wish to pursue in the essay allows you to be a bit more casual, as you don’t necessarily have to sound overly academic.

Despite the limited word count, try to be as detailed as possible and avoid adding unnecessary “fluff” to your response.

Every sentence should reveal something new about the experience and give Harvard a clearer sense of the ways in which you involved yourself outside of academics.(7) The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.(9) Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college.

If you’re writing about travel by itself, make sure it involves a broader purpose than you simply becoming more worldly or culturally aware.

For example, traveling to Peru and tasting Peruvian chicken and contemplating its flavors can connect back to your passion for history and cooking.

However, the inverse of this story works well, such as being a waiter serving people of higher socioeconomic classes.

While this prompt is not the place for writing about assisting those less fortunate, as this is likely the topic that many applicants jump to, it could be a great place to discuss working with those with more privilege, as this would provide a unique perspective.

The purpose of this question is essentially to give you the opportunity to further describe one of your activities, as Harvard can’t see these details from your extracurricular list.

When picking the topic, it’s definitely best to pick the activity/work experience that is the most significant to you, since this is likely to have played a larger role in your life.

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