Macaulay Honors College Essays

All candidates must submit their applications no later than December 1; notifications will be sent out mid-March. All Honors College applicants are also considered for admission to Hunter's general bachelor's degree program.

Macaulay Honors College chooses candidates for admission by evaluating a combination of academic and leadership factors, including:   

 

High School Grades:


If you attend a New York City public high school, your transcript will be sent to Macaulay Honors College via your OSIS number. A list of OSIS numbers is included on the Macaulay online application.

If you attend a private or parochial high school in New York City or if you live outside New York City, you should ask your high school guidance department to mail an official copy of your transcript to:

The City University of New York
University Application Processing Center (UAPC)
Attn: Macaulay Honors College
P.O. Box 359021
Brooklyn, NY 11235
USA

Please be sure to include your CUNY ID number which can be found at the end of your online application.

Mid-year grade reports are not required by Macaulay, but if you believe it will help your application, you may send one to UAPC.


 

SAT or ACT Scores:


You must take either the SAT or ACT exam and have your scores sent electronically using the appropriate website before the application deadline. You may take the test more than once and tests will be super scored

For SAT Scores, only the Critical Reading and Math sections are reviewed.

You may submit SAT II scores if you believe they provide additional support for your application, but they are not a requirement.

The scores should be sent electronically to the University Application Processing Center (UAPC). Use the CUNY/UAPC institutional code (2950) at the time of testing. You do not need to use both the CUNY institutional code and an individual CUNY college codes because all campuses receive access.


 

Essays:


Applicants must complete the required essays on the online application.

Check out this year's essay topics here!


 

Letters of Recommendation:


Recommendation letters are a key component of your application. Letters should highlight intellectual curiosity, leadership ability and experience, academic and community engagement of the applicant.

Recommendation Letters should be requested via the online application. We suggest checking with your recommenders to ensure they have received the email and have submitted their letter by the deadline. Letters may be submitted online or sent by mail to:

The City University of New York
University Application Processing Center (UAPC)
Attn: Macaulay Honors College
P.O. Box 359021
Brooklyn, NY 11235 USA

All documents mailed to UAPC must contain the applicant't CUNY ID Code.


 

Application Fee:


Applicants must pay the non-refundable $65.00 application processing fee by credit card, check or money order.

A CUNY Application Fee Waiver may be submitted if necessary.


If you have any difficulties with your application contact the Macaulay Help Desk at (212) 652-2897, or email them at macaulayhelpdesk@mhc.cuny.edu.


HI. Here is another one of my ghastly essays (yes, I have written multiple in the hope that I will strike gold with at least one of them but so far, not luck).

Prompt:
- Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

The old man was still waiting outside. It struck me with surprise that he had been waiting on the platform for almost five hours on a scorching humid August day. He was well in his late 50s, wearing work attire and stricken with wrinkles and spots. But there was an uncanny look of guilt and pride in his face. Or maybe it was the sunlight playing tricks on his sweaty Caucasian face. I approached him slowly. Lacking anything to say, I picked up a blue pamphlet from the bunch that lay around his feet, and he said to me, "So, are you ready to be saved?"

It was an early Saturday mid afternoon when I entered the New York City subway station few blocks away from my families' one bedroom apartment. As I walked up the black stairs and past a dirty map of the neighborhood, I saw the old man lying down a cloth and putting pamphlets on it. My concentration landed upon him for just mere seconds. The loud Manhattan-Bound train arrived in a few minutes. I left for my destination.

"Umm, it is all right," I said half-heartedly. He smiled, a smile consisting of yellow teeth, pictured into a wrinkly sweaty face against the rough exterior of his forehead; it was stunning even against all the odds. I said, "I saw you standing here almost five hours ago." "Yes, I have been standing here and spreading the words of Jesus."

My whole life I have seen people put a lot of emphasize on their religions. My parents, for example, follow the strict laws and axioms of Hinduism and they have taught my siblings and me to follow them also. I had blindly walked this path, without ever really comprehending why I should or what it means to me. I did not even agree with the teachings of Hinduism and nor did I hold my own beliefs. As a friend once told me, I lacked the "intuitive sense of spiritual principles or beliefs". At fifteen years of age, I did not feel the need to understand what defines my spiritual beliefs. However, after the stumble with the old man at the subway station, I had a sudden urge to find my core, to find my divine truth, to find my path. I do not know why this mundane event had this effect on me, but it did. As maudlin as it sounds, it was an epiphany.

I lived life with a new purpose; I was a clean plate and had lot of entrees to pick from. Questioning peoples' behaviors and actions became my second nature; understanding those with a solid foundation on a spiritual or religious path might help me realize mine. Shams, a very close friend of mine with an articulate and strong ideological faith in Islam, had helped through this process. Deliberate disagreement in religious and spiritual conversations between us led to understand his views, even if I did not agree with them. Every comment and every statement added more to my plate.

School, home, and questions: the basic routine of my day. "Why do we reincarnate?" like a child I asked my mother. "Because Krishna wants us to", she replied with a frown. I did not like my mother's answer but I did not know why. Slowly I began to come up with a picture of my beliefs; it was easier to create a whole new dish from the same old ingredients than taking the food as it was given. Everyday tasks became tools to understand myself and my beliefs. Constant vigilance as I called it. The simplest of behaviors and actions are supported by a strand of eternal column and analyzing these would clarify my beliefs.

A simple event had started a process that is still occurring, a process of self-recognition. Ideas and thoughts of my mind were no longer based upon beliefs and ideologies that I did not understand or that I did not believe in; they were based upon mine. Hinduism and other religions are all paths that are not meant for me. But there are components that I believe from each of them-a hybrid of all paths. The world was composed of many different colors; I picked a mixture of all. This made everything look much more clear and vibrant. The old man did save me after all.

If there is anyone who is still not bored to death by this pile of junk that even my dog wouldn't wipe his butt on, please provide me with some corrections and comments on this essay. All help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

This is an intriguing account; you concisely and effectively communicate a transforming experience to the audience (your admissions officer). However, there are some diction-related choices that you can make to strengthen the reader's understanding of the realization's impact. I suggest that you develop further the concepts of "Constant Vigilance", the "eternal column", and to what effect you "[pick] a mixture of all [the world's many colors]". You discuss the differences in philosophy explored by you and your friend, you discuss the old man's epiphany-producing offer, and you discuss that which you reject: "Hinduism and other religions". Elaborate upon what you do believe; your personal philosophy does not seem to have been given the attention it deserves in the essay.

Don't call your writing ghastly. It is great. You captured me with the first para. The short sentences you sometimes use are powerful. It's like the enunciated thump of a heart beat, thu-thump, thu-thump...

Starting sentences with conjunctions is okay, but technically it is not corect. Maybe you should just not do it twice in a row:
But there was an uncanny look of guilt and pride in his face -- or maybe it was the sunlight playing tricks...

Now use a comma between adjectives:
... on his sweaty, Caucasian face. I approached him slowly.

You write very well. The first sentence introduces the idea of him waiting (it could use an adjective to describe him in addition to "old"), and the second sentence elaborates on that idea of waiting. It is high quality writing, I think.

e, "So, are you ready to be saved?"


--> you should indent the narrative portions of this essay ( maybe you just didn't do it when you posted it on here, but just in case you needed a reminder)

"Umm, it is all right," I said half-heartedly. He smiled, a smile consisting of yellow teeth, pictured into a wrinkly sweaty face against the rough exterior of his forehead; it was stunning even against all the odds. I said, "I saw you standing here almost five hours ago." "Yes, I have been standing here and spreading the words of Jesus."


--> again just indent the narratives.

of Hinduism nor did I hold my own beliefs.


Questioning peoples' behaviors and actions became my second nature; understanding those with a solid foundation on a spiritual or religious path might help me realize mine


--> I feel like you should just replace that semicolon with a period

led to understand his views,


--> led to understanding his views,

like a child I asked my mother.


--> this part needs to be fixed somehow

-I really liked your essay : )
-It definitely answers the prompt!
-I had something I really wanted to say but I can't recall what it is... man.
-Well, GOOD LUCK !!!

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