Tufts Essay

2017-2018 Tufts University Admissions Essays

This is what Tufts looked like back in 1854.

The 2017-2018 Tufts University admissions essays consist of three prompts — one 50-100 word essay and two 200-250 word essays. Of course, when a highly selective college like Tufts asks you to write between 50-100 words, do you write 50 or 100 words? You write 100 words. Duh. Use all of the real estate you have to make your case, to present yourself in the most compelling way possible to admissions officers and to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the school to which you’re applying. All things being equal, are admissions officers going to choose the candidate who demonstrates precisely how she will contribute to a university or a candidate who isn’t so sure how she’ll contribute to life on campus? You decide.

For the 2017-2018 Tufts essays, applicants must answer in 50-100 words the prompt which reads, “Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” So, yes, that’s a Why College essay. Tufts even wrote, “In short: Why Tufts?” For the second prompt, applicants are required to answer the prompt that reads, “There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today.” So it’s quite similar indeed to the University of Michigan’s famous community essay.

For the final prompt, applicants to Tufts must respond to one of six questions in 200-250 words. The questions read as follows:

“A) It’s cool to be smart. Tell us about the subjects or ideas that excite your intellectual curiosity.

B) In a time when we’re always plugged in (and sometimes tuned out), tell us about a time when you listened, truly listened, to a person or a cause. How did that moment change you?

C) Celebrate the role of sports in your life.

D) Whether you’ve built blanket forts or circuit boards, produced community theater or mixed media art installations, tell us: what have you invented, engineered, created, or designed? Or what do you hope to?

E) What makes you happy? Why?

F) Artist Bruce Nauman once said: “One of the factors that still keeps me in the studio is that every so often I have to more or less start all over.” Everyone deals with failure differently; for most artists failure is an opportunity to start something new. Tell us about a time when you have failed and how that has influenced your art practice.”

Have a question about the 2017-2018 Tufts University admissions essays? Post your question below and we’ll be sure to write back.

In order to write an effective response, it is important to understand why Tufts University is asking this. Students typically apply to several colleges, so this question is meant to see how serious the applicant is about attending the school. When answering this question, you should be asking yourself, why would I rather attend Tufts as opposed to any other college?


This mindset will help you discover unique reasons that make Tufts stand out from other universities. It is very important to be specific with this response. If you can replace the word Tufts with the name of another school, then it needs to be refined further to include Tufts-exclusive details.


For example, if there is a specific program that Tufts specializes in, such as the International Relations program, definitely mention that. The nature of the program itself does not have to be unique, but the descriptions about it have to provide unique insight that is not applicable to any other school. For instance, International Relations itself is not an exclusive course of study; in fact, Stanford, the University of California-Davis, and the University of Southern California all offer such a major in their undergraduate program.


However, only Tufts requires a capstone component which can be fulfilled through intensive seminars in one’s chosen concentration or directed research mentored by one of the professors. Therefore, when citing the International Relations program as one of Tuft’s allures, it is insufficient to mention its prestige; instead, discuss how the capstone project will allow you to develop your perspective on the tensions between world superpowers under the seasoned guidance of Professor Hitchner.


Because of the restrictive word limit, choose one aspect and describe it in an in-depth manner. The most important thing is to demonstrate how your personal strengths can contribute to that unique facet of Tufts. Doing so allows the admissions officers to understand that you are a good fit for the school, not just the other way around.


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