Common Application Essay Prompts for 2015-16 Announced


Nearly 6000 professionals (including yours truly:) responded to a survey issued by the Common App asking for suggestions for essay prompts for the upcoming year. The most notable change is the complete re-write of the fourth prompt, which last year asked applicants to describe a place where they felt content. Here are the essay prompts for current high school juniors applying to a Common App member college:

  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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  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 or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Juniors should use the summer months to work on essay drafts. I'm scheduling appointments now for essay work, so feel free to email me (joanne@mycollegehelper.com) for pricing and availability.