Common App 2017-2018 Admission Essay Prompts

Nearly 700 colleges across the country use the Common App. By tracking deadlines and what materials you need, you can stay organized while submitting everything online easily. 

Many colleges that use the application require an essay, but not all. For the 2017-2018 season, the app has updated the essay questions, so students can demonstrate to admissions committees that they can tell a story that expresses who they are. Below are the updated Common App essay prompts.

Common App Essay Prompts [Updated]

  1. Some students believe that their application would be incomplete without their background, identity, interest, or talent. Please share your story if this describes you. There has been no change.
  2. We can learn valuable lessons from obstacles we encounter. Describe a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. What did you learn from the experience, and how did it affect you? Revisions
  3. Consider a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. How did you come to your conclusion? How did things turn out? Revisions [revised]
  4. Describe a problem you have solved or one you would like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research question, an ethical dilemma – anything that is important to you, no matter how big or small. What steps have you taken or could be taken to identify a solution? There has been no change.
  5. Describe an accomplishment, event, or realization that led to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself or others. Revision
  6. Give an example of a topic, idea, or concept that makes you lose track of time. What captivates you about it? In order to learn more, who or what do you turn to? It’s new!
  7. Let us know what topic you would like to write about. You can write one that you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one that you create yourself. The new version

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