Act Six Scholarship Essay Topics

As illustrated on the graphic timeline above, Act Six scholars are chosen through a rigorous, highly competitive, three-phase selection process that spans four months.

Online Application

Applicants complete an initial online application that includes a basic college admissions application as well as additional essay questions, letters of recommendation, and family financial information.  All application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm on November 7, 2017 .

Phase I

After an initial screening of written application materials, top applicants are notified by email on November 28 and invited to participate as candidates in Phase II.

Phase II

Candidates participate in a local half-day interactive event on December 9 where they demonstrate their academic and leadership potential while working together to address a complex community issue. Candidates learn more about each partner college and can update the list of colleges for which they wish to be considered. A local community committee considers candidates’ performance on both the written and interactive components to name 20-30 semifinalists for each partner college.  Decisions are emailed on January 9.

Phase III

Semifinalists travel to the college for which they were selected for a two- or three-day event between January 26 to February 15. Phase III allows students to experience campus life as they participate in a four-part evaluation process that includes a personal interview, an on-site writing task, academic seminar discussions, and group problem-solving activities. A parent or guardian is invited to participate in a portion of the visit.  For Whitworth and Gonzaga, air transportation, housing, and meals for students and parents are provided.


Each partner college selects finalists and mails decision letters on February 20.  Finalists are given one week to decide and commit to the Act Six program, agreeing to attend the college for which they were selected and to participate fully in the five-month training program. Applicants may withdraw from the process at any time prior to this commitment.  The new class of Act Six scholars are formally announced to the public on March 9.

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Writing Sample Essays

Essay Task

Write a unified, coherent essay about the increasing presence of intelligent machines. In your essay, be sure to: 

  • clearly state your own perspective on the issue and analyze the relationship between your perspective and at least one other perspective
  • develop and support your ideas with reasoning and examples
  • organize your ideas clearly and logically
  • communicate your ideas effectively in standard written English

Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of those given, in partial agreement, or completely different.

Get more information about preparing for the writing test.

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