Sample Ohio State Application Essays

Be prepared for the following questions and prompts.

Common Application questions

Writing: Personal essay

Ohio State requires a personal statement essay in response to one of the prompts provided. If you'd like to work on your response before beginning your application, here's a list of this year's essay prompts.

Courses & Grades: Self-reported transcript

Ohio State requires applicants to report their transcript information. A Course Assistant wizard will walk you through the steps. Your counselor is aware of this requirement and can provide you with your high school transcript. You may only skip this step if you are homeschooled and can't get a high school transcript; if your transcript doesn't use grades; or if your high school doesn't use semesters, trimesters, quarters or block scheduling.

Ohio State-specific questions

General: Preferred admission plan

Select "Early Action" if you are applying for autumn semester and plan to meet our November 1 early action deadline. Otherwise, select "Rolling Admission."

General: School-specific fee waivers

If you have been given a fee waiver code for one of the programs listed, please select the program and enter your fee waiver code.

Academics: Your planned major

To learn more about Ohio State's majors, search Ohio State majors or read Undecided? if you're not sure what to major in.

Academics: Opportunities beyond the undergraduate level

Ohio State offers pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Identifying your pre-professional interest on the application will enable your advisors to provide you with a wide range of support to realize your goals.

Academics: Alternate campus (Ohio residents only)

If you are not admitted to the Columbus campus, you will have the option of starting your Ohio State degree at a regional campus and changing to Columbus later. If you don't select an alternate campus, you will be automatically admitted to one.

Academics: Honors and Scholars Programs

To be considered, we strongly recommend that you meet our November 1 early action deadline. On the application, indicate interest in the University Honors Program or Ohio State Scholars Program and respond to the H&S essay prompt. If you wish to apply for the Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship, you must indicate interest in the University Honors Program and complete the Eminence Application.

Academics: Morrill Scholarship Program

To be considered, we strongly recommend that you meet our November 1 early action deadline. On the application, indicate interest in the Morrill Scholarship Program and respond to the MSP essay prompt. Be sure to include leadership and diversity involvement under Activities.

Application fee and fee waivers

Before submitting your application, you will be asked for a $60 NONREFUNDABLE application fee. Ohio State accepts ACT, SAT, TRIO and other fee waivers meant to assist low-income families (the application will walk you through eligibility requirements).

Planning to apply for financial aid?

Supply your Social Security Number on your admission application if you plan to file the FAFSA and want Ohio State to receive it, or if you are the child of an Ohio State employee using the Dependent Tuition Assistance program.

Recently I had the chance to talk with Ellen S. who works in Student Financial Aid, specifically with Special Scholarships. She was able to provide me with answers to my questions as well as give me some advice on certain things that they like to see on the application.

What is it?

The Special Scholarships application enables Ohio State students to be considered for several thousands of special-eligibility scholarships that encompass a wide variety of eligibility criteria. The application is also free, just like the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

How many scholarships are offered?

Thousands upon hundreds of scholarships.

What do I need to do to apply?

First, access the application through the Student Financial Aid website. Students are encouraged to fill out both their FAFSA and the Application for Special Scholarships by the priority date of February 15.

The application asks basic questions regarding a student’s activities and affiliations, family information, and diversity. It also asks for a personal statement. [Cue dramatic music]

I’m only a freshman–How could I ever have enough to write a personal statement?

Don’t panic: the Financial Aid office understands that by the time this application is due, first-year students have been in college for less than a year. While it’s okay to highlight personal accomplishments from high school, take some time to reflect back on your first year and the things that make you proud. Maybe you can write about a professor that you’ve gotten a chance to know better, or about some affiliations–student organizations, religious groups, residence hall, etc.–that you have on campus.

The personal statement prompt has no structure or format but does require that you stick to the 900-word limit. The application gives students some prompts to get your started, but you are not required to stick to those. Make sure to talk about some things that you can bring to the Ohio State community, as well as some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome. It is recommended that you complete your personal statement in a Word document or similar software that can be copied and pasted into the application text box; if the application timer (found at the bottom of the application page) runs out, your response will not be saved.

Common mistakes to avoid?

NOT CHECKING YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR!

In a world where everyone is more text-savvy, it’s easy to forget how to properly use certain words and punctuation. Make sure to have someone proofread your work before submitting any of your essays. You can check the Writing Center’s walk-in hours in Thompson Library to get some quick feedback on your writing.

Having an “okay” personal statement

The personal statement is where you need to shine. When talking about how a scholarship can help you, an “alright” answer would be “College is expensive.” A better way to answer this question is to take some time to reflect on how a scholarship can help to alleviate some of the stresses in your life , or how it can help you accomplish some of your long-term goals.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your Special Scholarships application! Financial Aid wants to award as many of its scholarships to as many students as possible, so take some time–winter break is a terrific option–to complete your application by February 15!

Posted in Advice, Reflection, Resources Tagged application, essay, finances, financial aid, involvement, Money, personal statement, scholarships Bookmark the permalink.

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