If you’re a high school junior planning to apply to U.S. colleges in the fall, you will likely need to write at least one essay for your application. Jumpstart the process by taking a look at the prompts for the main essay on the 2019-20 Common Application, which is used by hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities. The non-profit group behind the Common App recently announced that the prompts for this year’s applications will be the same as last year’s. Here are the seven prompts, which will hopefully get your creative juices flowing:
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.
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?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
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, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
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?
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.
For more information about the Common Application, or to set up an account, visit: www.commonapp.org