Exciting news! If you’re filling out the Common Application for 2017-2018, you can now view the essay prompts. Take a look now so you can start generating ideas for your essays!
The word limit for each of these will remain 650. Here are the prompts:
- 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]
- 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]
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
- 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]
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
- 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]
- 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]
Have a look at the articles below to give you general ideas about how to attack your college essay, no matter which prompt you use.
Educational Consultant and College Admissions Expert
The Cardinal Rule for Writing a Perfect College Essay
How To Write A Perfect College Essay for the Common Application–Your Background Story
How to Write the Perfect College Essay–Tell a Good Story
How To Write The Perfect College Essay–Paint A Picture
How To Write the Perfect College Essay–Grab Some Attention