College Park Application Essay

Q: How can my student apply to the University of Maryland (UMD)?

UMD uses the application provided by The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. This application should be used by students seeking freshman or transfer admission, or students seeking admission to the University of Maryland, College Park at Shady Grove. Get started by creating your profile today.

Q: How do my students share their Coalition profile information with the University of Maryland?

To access the Locker, Collaboration Space and Application Portal, your students must first open an account on The Coalition Platform and complete their Profile. Your students can search for schools they are considering and then choose to share their information with their interested schools. For UMD, this will then add the student to our mailing list to receive future communications.

Q: Will the University of Maryland (UMD) be reviewing or giving feedback to documents in my students’ Lockers?

No. The Locker is a private space for students to invite their high school counselors, teachers and mentors to review documents prior to submitting these items as part of their application. UMD admissions staff do not have access to a student’s Locker, and will not review application materials prior to their submission.

You can learn more about the Locker by watching the Coalition’s video overview.

Q: Will my students be at a competitive disadvantage for admission if they do not backfill their Locker with materials?

No. The Locker is designed to offer a private space for students to organize and get feedback on materials from high school counselors, teachers and mentors throughout their high school journey. Maintaining a record of these items will help prepare students to complete their college application, but students are not required to have anything stored in their Locker to apply to the University of Maryland.

Q: How do I submit application documents like letters of recommendation and transcripts through The Coalition?

The Coalition has free, built-in tools which allow the applicant to request that letters of recommendation and transcripts be sent directly from teachers and counselors. These items will appear in the student’s Locker as received and the student can include them when submitting their application, but they cannot view or edit these items. 

The University of Maryland will still accept application materials submitted through Naviance, Parchment and mail. For a list of acceptable submission methods, review our Submitting Documents page. Items submitted outside of the Coalition can take up to two weeks to process and reflect in the Application Tracker.

Q: What essay questions does the University of Maryland (UMD) use on the application?

UMD will use the essay questions provided by the Coalition.

Q: What materials does my student need to submit to complete the University of Maryland’s application?

Depending on whether the student is applying for freshman or transfer admission, and whether they are an international applicant, different materials are required. You can view what materials are required for a completed application by visiting our Application Checklists page. Answers to frequently asked questions specifically regarding the freshman and transfer application process can be found on the Freshman Application FAQs and Transfer Application FAQs pages. 

Essay Questions


The essay is just one of the 26 factors we use as part of our holistic application review for prospective freshmen.

The essay provides you with the opportunity to showcase aspects of your personality and experiences that fit well with the University of Maryland community. When considering your approach to the following essay questions, think deeply about your answer, making it creative and succinct. Use this opportunity as a time for self-reflection and intellectual meditation. You can review some helpful essay writing tips provided by The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success.

Instructions

Please answer one of the following essay questions in your application. Make sure to include the question itself at the start of your essay. Your essay should be no more than 550 words; the question will not be included in the essay total word count. 

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

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