Listing Special Talents on College Applications

Listing Special Talents on College Applications
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A special talent can be anything from an athletic ability to specialized skills in math. Perhaps you have exceptional abilities in playing chess. It may seem like a strange question to see on a college application but with the competition for admission into some colleges, your opportunity to shine can come with a special talent.

For college applications, this question is sometimes used as a tie breaker when the number of applicants for admission outgrows the amount of applicants that can be accepted. This question and more importantly the answer may be the definitive factor in gaining acceptance. Here is where your creativity and talents can boost your chances for admission.

What Special Talent Should be Listed?

Sometimes, the application for college will come with instructions for this portion. The administration is looking for some special talent to highlight the school’s image or curriculum. For instance, the ability to work with quadratic equations or the Pythagorean Theorem may be more relevant than being able to perform a great Daffy Duck impersonation.

Often the special talent for college applications can be part of an admissions essay or simply a question on the application itself. This is a point where one desires to stand out on the application and let the reviewers of the application develop a sense of your personality.

Don’t be afraid to provide a demonstration of your special talent. An example could be, while applying to college for an accounting degree program, someone who has a special talent with spreadsheets and send a disk in with some of their work. Another example would be someone with a special talent for singing can provide a demo CD of their singing talent.


There are a number of schools that offer scholarships for special talents in many different areas. Some scholarships exist for musical performance, debate skills and many others. Some schools even offer scholarships for talents like music or athletics that cover up to 100% of tuition! Central Michigan University offers up to $1000.00 per year in scholarship money for special talents in forensics and debate.

Check out some of the scholarship websites like Some of these scholarships can provide up to $10,000.00 toward your education. It’s really worth taking a look.

What may seem like a quirky thing to put down on a college application or to write about in college application essays can actually pay off. Unique talents can be used to represent your outstanding hard work and achievements while defining character or just simply providing the admissions representative with an attribute of your personality. If you have an ability that you think really accentuates your personality, character or just helps you stand out from the crowd then consider using it to your advantage.


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