University Of Puget Sound Essay Prompts

The Questions

We designed the questions to help us find students who will thrive inside and outside the classroom, who are smart in ways that aren’t necessarily quantifiable. These essays, along with the Common Application and essay, teacher and counselor evaluations, and high school transcripts, will allow us to fully evaluate the potential of a student at Puget Sound.

If you’ve started your application to Puget Sound, you may have already seen the two questions. If you haven’t started your application yet (why haven’t you?!), here they are: 


Describe a goal. Any goal. But it has to be your goal, and you have to have set it for yourself. Provide an example that demonstrates your work ethic to achieve this goal, how long you have been working towards this goal, and whether your efforts thus far have been successful. (100 words)


Describe a community with which you identify. How long have you been a part of this group, and how have you contributed? How has it helped shape who you are today? How has it helped prepare you to be a successful member of the Puget Sound community? (100 words)

Application Checklist

Puget Sound accepts applications for fall and spring admission. For fall entry, candidates can choose from one of three application options:

  • Early Decision (binding)
  • Early Action
  • Regular Decision

Below you will find a complete list of requirements for first-year applicants. Make sure to also carefully review Puget Sound's admission and financial aid deadlines.

Applicants applying from schools outside of the U.S. should review the International Admissions Checklist.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admission at or 253.879.3211.

Common Application

Complete the Common Application, including the essay and $60 application fee, and submit your application online by the appropriate deadline. If the application fee is a significant financial burden for you and your family, we encourage you to request an application fee waiver through your counselor or college adviser.

Member Questions and Writing Supplement

Please fill out this section completely. If you agree to fill out the test-optional essay questions or if you indicate interest in the Business Leadership Program, Honors Program, and/or the Lillis and Matelich scholarships in this section then you will need to fill out the Writing Supplement. Your ability to access the Writing Supplement is triggered by your responses to the Member Questions. Complete these applications only if you are interested in applying for these programs. 

Early Decision Agreement

Students applying Early Decision must review and sign the terms of the agreement. You can submit the agreement electronically through the Common Application Member Questions section or print out a PDF version and mail or fax a copy to our office. This document is not required for Early Action or Regular Decision candidates.

School Report

The School Report gives us information about your school, your curriculum, and your performance. Complete your portion of this form and give to your school counselor or other administrator. You may initiate the process electronically in the Assign Recommenders section of the Common Application.

Counselor and Teacher Evaluation

We request one recommendation from a counselor or advisor at your current school and one from a teacher at your current school. The Counselor Evaluation and Teacher Evaluation forms should be completed and sent to Puget Sound by the recommender. You may initiate the process electronically in the Assign Recommenders section of the Common Application.


Arrange to have official transcripts of all work completed at the high school and/or college level forwarded directly from the school(s) attended to the Puget Sound Office of Admission. Your high school counselor can submit your transcript with the School Report section of the Common Application.

Standardized Tests

Puget Sound has a test-optional policy. First, decide whether or not you would like to have your ACT or SAT scores submitted as part of your application. If you choose to submit your test scores, you must request to have the official score report forwarded to Puget sound directly from the testing agency.

  • College Board (SAT) code: 4067
  • ACT code: 4450

If you do not want to submit your test scores, you are required to submit answers to two short essay questions. Please note that standardized tests (SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS) are still required for international citizens.


While admission interviews are not required, they allow Puget Sound to get to know you and your interests beyond what an application can tell us. During an admission interview, students have the opportunity to ask questions about Puget Sound and explain any special personal circumstances that may have shaped high school experiences.

Interviews must take place prior to the application deadline to be considered as part of a candidate's evaluation. There are several options and formats available:

  • In-person interviews are available for students visiting campus and are conducted by Admission Counselors and Student Admission Associates. High school juniors can schedule an interview in the spring semester and high school seniors and transfer students can schedule interviews throughout the academic year. To request an on-campus interview, please indicate your interest in your visit registration.
  • Admission Counselors and Alumni Representatives also offer off-campus interviews in cities throughout country from September to January.
  • Virtual/online interviews (through Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts) are also available with admission counselors.
  • International applicants are encouraged to interview with InitialView or Vericant. (More information)

Special Programs

  • Business Leadership Program: Students interested in joining the Business Leadership Program must submit a separate BLP application by Jan. 15 to be considered for the program.
  • Honors Program: Students interested in joining the Honors Program must submit a separate Honors application by Jan. 15 to be considered for the program.
  • Music: Students must audition, either in person or by recording, for acceptance to the major and/or for scholarship consideration. To audition, complete the audition application by Dec. 1. Note: The Arts Supplement to the Common Application is not accepted.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • Need-Based Financial Aid: To apply for need-based financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Designate on your FAFSA that you want your application information sent to the University of Puget Sound by including school code #003797. More instructions are available on the Student Financial Services website.
  • Academic Scholarships: All incoming undergraduates are considered for the Alumni, Faculty, Dean's, President's, or Trustee scholarships. Awards are made based on the student's overall admission application, including standardized test scores (if submitted) and academic performance in high school or college. No separate scholarship application is required.
  • Lillis Foundation Scholarships: Each year, two first-year students are recognized with the Lillis Scholarship, which is University of Puget Sound’s most prestigious honor for students who combine extraordinary promise in academics and scholarship. The honor includes an award that covers the cost of tuition, room, and board for up to four years of undergraduate education at University of Puget Sound. To be considered, candidates must submit an additional application by Dec. 15. 
  • Matelich Scholarships: Each year, two first-year students are recognized with the Matelich Scholarship, which is University of Puget Sound’s most prestigious honor for students who demonstrate a capacity for a life of leadership and sustained personal growth. The honor includes an award that covers the cost of tuition, room, and board for up to four years of undergraduate education at University of Puget Sound. To be considered, candidates must submit an additional application by Dec. 15. 
  • Talent Scholarships: Puget Sound offers scholarships to incoming full-time undergraduates for performance excellence in music, theatre, art, and forensics. Students interested in being considered for these awards must submit additional applications by Jan. 15.

Early Decision Agreement

Students applying Early Decision must complete the electronic version of this agreement through the Common Application. You may also mail or fax a completed version of this form to the Office of Admission. 


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