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20 Hilariously Awful College Admissions Essays

Were some of these applicants even trying to get accepted? Students and admissions counselors sound off on college essays that range from hysterical to flat out bizarre.

trombone player from a brass orchestra with reflection in the music instrumentMaren Winter/Shutterstock

The non-musician

"When applying to college we were told about a kid that applied to Harvard. Their prompt asked them to propose their own question and answer it. The kid asked himself "Do you play the trombone?" His answer: "No." Of course, he got in. I'm not sure what the moral of the story was...maybe to think outside the box?"  —sierrarose10 via reddit.comWe can only imagine this student also had one of these yearbook quotes that get people laughing.

Chocolate bar in foil on gray backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Sweet acceptance


"The old application for the Honors College had some required essays, and one year they asked, 'If you were a candy bar, what would you be and why?' It’s been over 15 years, and I’ll always remember the essay where the student answered, 'It would depend on whether or not I would want to be eaten.' He was admitted." —Lisa Baker, assistant director, admissions at Indiana University of Pennsylvania via quora.com

Hundred Dollar BillsP Maxwell Photography/Shutterstock

Honesty pays off

"I applied to Hofstra this year and their only supplemental essay was, 'Why are you applying to Hofstra?' I submitted 'You gave me a fee waiver.' I was accepted and received a scholarship of $80,000 over four years." —Aumming via reddit.com

Plate of guacamole with tortilla chips and ingredientsCivil/Shutterstock

Chipotle is life

"My friend wrote one of his essays about how Chipotle is essential to his life. He was accepted." —MrLamar3 via reddit.com

Old gilded frame. Antique frame with ornament. Recognize the art.DenisProduction.com/Shutterstock

Essay writing is an art...

"I used my latest AP art history essays for every essay question. Literally, it said things like 'Why do you want to go here?' and I attached an essay about the artistic merits of the famous toilet art of Dada movement, another one was about the Baroque period. I ended up getting in AND getting a decent scholarship/aid package..." —anonymous user via reddit.com. Was this a mistake? Maybe not, but these real spelling errors that made it into newspapers will also have you giggling.

martin luther king jr.Charles Gorry/AP/Shutterstock

Talk about tooting your own horn

"My dormmate applied to UC Berkeley with excellent grades... but also an essay of... 'What do Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, George Washington....etc, etc, etc have in common?' Answer: 'They were all amazing people. So am I. Please accept me to your school.'" —Zigxy via reddit.com

Test score sheet with answers.Levent Konuk/Shutterstock

When all else fails, call them out

"I know someone who told U of Michigan that the way they evaluate students is faulty and that GPAs/test scores are useless. He got in." —OrbitBrazil via reddit.com

fountain pen and open dictionaryImage Republic/Shutterstock

Duh? Duh

"One of the essays to get into the university that I attend was, what is your favorite word and why? My friend who now attends this university wrote 'Duh, duh.'" —euthansaia via reddit.com

The last page of diary, The end of memoirs in the past yearandy0man/Shutterstock

A little humor sometimes goes a long way

"I had a friend in high school who applied early decision to Wharton. They had 'Write page 264 of your autobiography,' as an essay question, so he wrote half a sentence along with a note that said 'Page 264 was the last page of the chapter. I thought about giving you page 263 instead but felt that would be dishonest.' He got in." —Fenring via reddit.com

Multicolored paper clips on paperworkPurple Anvil/Shutterstock

At least he was upfront

"We had one question along the lines of 'what is the biggest challenge you've ever had' and one kid answered with 'this application.'" —M1L0 via reddit.comPerhaps this applicant believed this would work. Check out other hilarious things people believed when they were younger.

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