• Common Application Essay Prompts

     
    The following essay prompts are reproduced exactly from the Common Application that hundreds of colleges throughout the country accept instead of their own personalized applications.  If you are applying to a common application college, going to a college that does not require an essay, or don't plan to go to college right now, use a prompt from the selection below to write your essay for this assignment. Please keep your essays between 250-500 words.
     
    PERSONAL ESSAY

    This personal statement helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Please write an essay (650 words maximum) on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below.

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    2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts

    1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

    2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

    3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

    4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]

    5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

    6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]

    7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]

    Here are the old ones from last year:
     
    1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

    2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

    3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

    4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

    5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
    //www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Default.aspx

    Here are the old prompts, in case you wanted to know:
    1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

    2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

    3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

    4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

    5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

    6. Topic of your choice.

     

Last Modified on October 17, 2017