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Common Application Essays for 2017-2018

Do you have students who will apply to a school that accepts the Common Application?  More schools accept the Common App every year.  Have your students get a jump start on those essays!  The Common Application essay prompts have been released for the 2017-2018 application season.  (scroll down to see the full list of essays)

Brad Schiller, CEO of  Prompt, shares his initial thoughts on the new essays:

I really like the changes. They’ve done a good job of clarifying the language in the prompts – removing the focus on “failure” to be about obstacles, mentioning “outcome” in the one on challenging a belief, and removing the “childhood to adulthood” language in favor of a period of personal growth.

I also really like #6 on a topic that captivates the student – we believe a passion for self-learning in a topic of interest is one of the best things to write about, and we had pushed a lot of people to the first prompt to write about their “passion” for a certain topic as their identity.

I’m also glad that students can use any essay topic that they want and can also use an essay they write for something else.

2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompt (from the common application website)

  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]

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