2012-2013 Gates Essay Prompts
- Discuss the subjects in which you excel or have excelled. To what factors do you attribute your success? Use specific examples to illustrate how you succeeded.
- Discuss the subjects with which you had difficulties. What factors do you believe contributed to your difficulties? How have you dealt with them so they will not cause problems for you again? In what areas have you experienced the greatest improvement? What problem areas remain? Explain how you identified your problems, and give examples of how you made or attempted to make improvements.
- Briefly describe a situation in which you thought you or others were treated unfairly or were not given an opportunity you thought you deserved. Why do you think this happened? How did you respond? Did the situation improve as a result of your response? Explain why you thought the situation was unfair, why you thought your way of responding would make a difference and whether it did.
- Discuss your short and long-term goals. Are some of them related? Which are priorities? Be specific in describing short and long-term goals you may have. Provide examples from any aspect of your life. In addition, if you have already accomplished some short or long-term goals you set for yourself in the past, you can discuss them.
- Discuss a leadership experience you have had in any area of your life: school, work, athletics, family, church, community, etc. How and why did you become a leader in this area? How did this experience influence your goals? Do not simply repeat the listings you provided in the leadership section of this form. Instead, select the leadership experience you view as the most important, and provide more details about how it affected you.
- Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home, school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the one you discussed in the previous question, even if this experience also involved leadership. What did you accomplish? How did this experience influence your goals? Be sure you explain how your involvement in these activities made a difference to others.
- Other than through classes in school, in what areas (non-academic or academic) have you acquired knowledge or skills? How? If you have gained expertise in a non-academic skill (e.g., woodworking, sewing, automotive repair), explain how you became interested in and mastered that skill. If you have gained additional knowledge about an academic subject outside the classroom (e.g., internship at a lab, independent study, performance in a community orchestra), describe the experience(s).
- Is there anything else you would like to tell us about personal characteristics, obstacles you have overcome, etc. that may help us evaluate your application? Please do not reiterate information you already have provided. This is your opportunity to state something about yourself that was not asked previously.
- Describe those activities in which you have participated since completing high school (e.g., community service, leadership, employment) that you believe qualify you for this scholarship. (This question is only for applicants who graduated from high school or earned their GED more than one year ago.)