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Saying More with Less

The new application season is right around the corner, for us and for many of you. If you're eager to get started, take a look at the 2012-2013 essay questions and guidance.

This year, we are asking you to write three essays instead of four.

Essays 1 and 2 are unchanged:

What matters most to you, and why?
What do you want to do - REALLY - and why Stanford?

The Essay 3 prompt now reads:

Answer one of the three questions below. Tell us not only what you did but also how you did it. What was the outcome? How did people respond? Only describe experiences that have occurred during the last three years.

Option A: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you built or developed a team whose performance exceeded expectations.
Option B: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you identified and pursued an opportunity to improve an organization.
Option C: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you went beyond what was defined or established.

Why did we make this change? As we reviewed your essays last year, we were left wanting more insight into how and why you do the things you do. We want to allow you to write more meaningfully. As such, we eliminated one of the required essays and increased the suggested word count for Essay 3. We reduced the combined word limit from 1800 to 1600 words, but the decision of how you allocate those words remains yours.

We feel this change will serve you well and will simplify your application process. Stay in touch this summer for more updates, including the new application set to launch by 1 July.

We hope you'll be part of the 2012-2013 application season!