Essay Prompts 2017-18

2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts/ 650 Word Maximum

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]

When Do I Start Looking At Colleges?

Ignore the folks who tell you that there is no need to look at colleges the end of Junior year. Start looking the beginning of high School or end of middle school as a motivator for hard work and general achievement in high school.  Seeing schools in person gives a child concrete vision of wonderful opportunities and something to strive for. You want your child revved up early to help focus on interests, set goals, and gain incentive. 

Study Abroad

Studying outside the home country allows the student to immerse themselves in a new environment:  in the classroom they gain exposure to new learning techniques and perspectives: outside the classroom students meet people of different cultures.  It develops self-confidence, cross cultural awareness and open mindedness to new ideas and values.  Employers worldwide consider these important assets.