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Ross Class of 2022 Essay Analysis

June 04, 2019

 Michigan's Ross School of Business has released its questions for the 2019-20 application cycle. Read on for our tips on approaching its required short answer questions and essay prompts.

2019/20 essay questions

Short answer question: Select one prompt from each group of the three groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or fewer (100 words each; 300 words total).

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I:

Group 2

  • I was humbled when:
  • I am out of my comfort zone when:

Group 3

  • I was aware that I was different when:
  • I was challenged when: (changed from “I find it challenging when people:”)

Essay 1: Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this the right choice for you?  (300 words)

Optional question: This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

2019/20 essay question analysis

Short answer prompts

Only the second prompt in Group 3 changed from prior year, focusing more on an event rather than someone’s behavior. It may be easier for some to write, as it reduces the implicit pressure to criticize someone that was buried in the previous prompt.

As in prior years, these prompts require direct, concise writing. Unlike other essay questions where how you explain an answer matters as much if not more than the topic you choose, for these questions your topic matters most. Make sure you choose something that highlights your unique attributes, rather than vague references to how great you are. Easiest to write and for the reader to remember will be specific instances and examples, even for Group 1 topics which may be harder to reference a specific event. Overall, be creative and let your personality come through to the reader!

Essay 1

This question is similar to what other schools ask for regarding your career goal, so you can likely borrow much from those essays. The slight difference is that this question only asks for short-term goals; focus on 1-5 years after graduation. Don’t spend more than 100 words explaining this, as the key area to differentiate you from other candidates will be explaining why this is the right choice for you. Keep explanations concise, and make sure you highlight 2-3 core characteristics about you that make you the right applicant to pursue this goal.

Optional essay

If you have a differentiated long-term goal (i.e. a specific business idea you’re working on now), and haven’t expressed it elsewhere in your application, you can use this space to explain it and give comfort to the reader that Ross will help you achieve success.

2019/20 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 30, 2019. Decision date: December 18, 2019

Round 2: Application deadline: January 6, 2020, Decision date: March 18, 2020

Round 3: Application deadline: March 30, 2020. Decision date: May 8, 2020

Other application details

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The online application is expected to be released later this summer – click here for the application portal.


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