There is a real disconnect between what Admission Committee Representatives in the Info Sessions say they are looking for and these essay topics. College Reps say they would like to know something interesting about you that isn’t revealed in your application. Your essay is supposed to add “texture” to your application. These new essay topics will produce really boring essays, with many students beating their own chests or writing sad tales about a death in the family or another type of loss. Bring back the topic of choice!
A college essay is the time to explain more about you and your life. This can be done by writing about a favorite activity, telling a story that you experience, or make up a story to show your even more creative side. Whatever you decide to write about make sure you start by drawing the reader in right away. Then it’s up to you to continue building upon this momentum like your building a skyscraper one floor at a time. Then remember to express an overall positive message on your essay. This is a good way to leave the reader with having a positive light on you personally .
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]