Columbia University's essay prompts are an excellent way for prospective students to get a clearer idea of what the admissions committee looks for when assessing their application. The essay prompts provide insight into the values and expectations that the university has for potential students. In 2020, Columbia's essay prompts focus on personal achievements, interests and goals, and how a Columbia education would support those ambitions.

The first essay prompt asks applicants to describe a meaningful experience in their life, and how it has shaped their perspectives. This gives applicants the chance to showcase their creativity and demonstrate why they would be a great fit for the university. It allows them to explore their background and interests and how they might contribute to Columbia's diverse academic community.

The second essay prompt requires applicants to explain why they are interested in attending Columbia specifically and how they believe they will benefit from the university. This prompt allows applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of Columbia's academic offerings and their enthusiasm for the school. They can discuss any special programs or extracurricular activities that interest them and why Columbia is the perfect place for them to pursue those passions.

The third essay prompt focuses on an activity, project or idea outside of academics that has been meaningful to the applicant. This could be anything from a summer job or volunteer experience to a research project or creative pursuit. This prompt allows applicants to show off their skills and demonstrate how they can use their education to pursue their goals. It also encourages them to think critically about how they can make a difference in the world.

Finally, the fourth essay prompt requires applicants to explain how they will contribute to the community at Columbia. This could involve activities such as volunteering, leading student organizations or taking part in research projects. This prompt allows applicants to show off their leadership skills and their commitment to giving back. It also gives them an opportunity to explain what unique contributions they will bring to the university and its campus.