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1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Low Cost and Free Resources to assist with Student Loan Debt
Office of Federal Student Aid studentaid.gov. Oversees the federal student-loan program.
Student Aid studentaid.gov. Free information on managing loans and programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment.
Student Loan Simulator studentaid.gov/loan-simulator. Helps borrowers find a repayment plan that meets their needs and goals.
Forgive My Student Debt, forgivemystudentdebt.org. This site offers information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Higher Ed Not Debt, higherednotdebt.org. A service from a combination of organizations including labor groups, think tanks and nonprofits that offers educational resources to student-loan borrowers.
National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, studentloanborrowerassistance.org. Tells borrowers more about their options and rights. It explains the workings of student loans, repayment, bankruptcy, cancellation, private loans and more. There are referral resources, forms and other information for struggling borrowers as well.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), nfcc.org, 800-388-2227. Provides financial reviews and education to consumers in person, over the phone or online. NFCC member agencies provide free or low-cost services including student-loan debt counseling.
Financial Counseling Association of America(FCAA), fcaa.org. Provides free or low-cost counseling services through member agencies in areas that include student-loan counseling. Borrowers can use the website to be in touch with a credit counselor.
The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (Tisla), freestudentloanadvice.org. Works with several thousand borrowers a year to provide free advice on student loans and dispute resolution. Borrowers can receive expert information and guidance on deciding on a repayment plan, determining if they are eligible for loan forgiveness or discharge, student-loan disputes, completing forms and applications, and getting out of default or delinquency.