The first essay option on the Common Application asks you to share your story. Continuing our series on the Common App 2019-2020 prompts, we’re reviewing prompt #5. Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great. First-time applicant guide First-year essay prompts Transfer applicant guide Download mobile app. The big news is that the essay prompts and word length will remain the same! 5. Cleverness is fine, but don't be clever at the expense of meaningful content. The Common App essay you write there is sent to basically every school that you apply to. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. 2020-2021 Common App Prompts and Essay Examples. What was the outcome? Recommender system Common App Ready toolkit Recommender guide Transfer advisors News and updates. The prompt reads, Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Prompt 5: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”. It’s a fairly new addition to the list of Common App prompts, and therefore may appeal to admissions committees. The essay portion of your application is the perfect chance to stand out among the rest and confidently share what makes you, you. "While the transcript and grades will always be the most important piece in the review of an application, essays can help a student stand out. The Common Application asks students to choose from 7 essay prompts, each asking for a different type of essay. 2. 2. You could write about an event or series of events that had a profound impact on your identity. Analysis, not description, will reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of a promising college student. From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, over 800 colleges in the United States use the Common Application. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Nearly all selective colleges and universities (as well as many that aren't overly selective) have holistic admissions, and they consider many factors in addition to numerical measures such as grades and standardized test scores. Even though it’s buried at number five, this is the classic Common App prompt. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. How to Answer Each Common App Prompt . It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. It’s been around for years and offers all the flexibility an applicant could ask for from a prompt, with just enough direction to get those creative fountains flowing. There is also a seventh prompt to write on any topic of your choosing. The Common Application essay prompts seek to provide admissions committees with deeper insights into the experiences of prospective students. Alexander wrote the essay below in response to the 2018-19 Common Application essay option #4. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group. Here, again, the Common Application gives you a lot of options for approaching the question. Be sure to devote significant space to the second half of the question—how did you learn and grow from the experience? This option was entirely new in 2017, and it's a wonderfully broad prompt. Every cycle, the Common App offers six prompts that students can use to brainstorm great essay topics. Why does it captivate you? Common application essay prompts serve as a single submission accessed by many colleges. In the opinion of the College Transitions staff, the choice not to tinker was a wise one. 2020-2021 Common App Prompts . What was the outcome? 4. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Let your inner geek fly free when you choose this question. In fact, I recommend you write your essay first and then choose the prompt to match it.) Now, let’s take a close look at each of the seven Common App prompts to give you some guidance and inspiration. Common App has announced that the 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2019–2020 essay prompts. Particularly when it comes to essays . If … First-time applicant guide First-year essay prompts Transfer applicant guide Download mobile app. The 2020-2021 Common App Prompts have been released and it’s time to slay the beast that is the 650-word Common Application essay. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 6. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission in 2019, you will have 250–650 words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Sign in Create an account. What is it that makes you you? Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values. Be careful to avoid the "hero" essay—admissions offices are often overrun with essays about the season-winning touchdown or brilliant performance in the school play (see the list of bad essay topics for more about this issue). The Common Application has just announced that the essay prompts will be the same as those used in 2019-2020. The second most popular was Option #5 (discuss an accomplishment) with 23.7% of applicants. Always keep in mind why colleges are asking for an essay: they want to get to know you better. And the titles of them. The essay prompt asks applicants to explore a problem they have solved or would like to solve: Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Login to your Applicant Support Customer Account. Whichever prompt you chose, make sure you are looking inward. Option #5. You will select one prompt for your essay and you have up to 650 words (usually equals one page). 1. The Common Application announced their college application essay prompts for next year. If you chose this prompt #3 for your Common App personal statement, you might want to steer clear of this particular USC prompt in order to avoid redundancy. Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you. The prompt use to talk about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but the new language about a "period of personal growth" is a much better articulation of how we actually learn and mature (no single event makes us adults). Read what common traps to avoid as well as great examples. This prompt may seem to go against everything that you've learned on your path to college. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? 2. Your "interest" or "talent" could be a passion that has driven you to become the person you are today. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Be careful with that opening word "describe"—you'll want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than describing it. The essay length limit stands at 650 words (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the seven options below. Show what you love and why you love it so much. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. 2020-2021 Common App Prompts 1. THEY’RE HERE. This question was reworded in 2017-18 admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement. Common Application Prompt #4 . The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story. If this sounds like you, then please share your story." The Common App changes its prompts fairly frequently, so make sure you're familiar with the most up-to-date versions of the Common App essay questions. The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application. ", –Valerie Marchand WelshDirector of College Counseling, The Baldwin SchoolFormer Associate Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania. The 2020-2021 Common App Essay Prompts are as follows: 1. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. 1. Even though it’s buried at number five, this is the classic Common App prompt. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. What makes you the unique individual the admissions folks will want to invite to join their campus community? Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community. It’s particularly overwhelming Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. What’s that, you ask? If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Below are the seven options with some general tips for each: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event. 2019–20 Common App Essays. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete ... Option #2. However you approach the prompt, make sure you are inward looking and explain how and why the story you tell is so meaningful. If you have friends or siblings who applied in past years, don't assume that you can take the exact same approaches they did. Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Your "background" can be a broad environmental factor that contributed to your development such as growing up in a military family, living in an interesting place, or dealing with an unusual family situation. Keep in mind how open-ended this prompt truly is. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Why does it captivate you? Many admissions officers, in fact, don't even look at which prompt you chose—they just want to see that you have written a good essay. Common App Prompt 1: Background, Identity, Interest, or Talent. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. This prompt is an excellent choice if you want to explore a single event or achievement that marked a clear milestone in your personal development. However, the first six topics are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. The 2020-2021 application has six core prompts, one free-form prompt, one additional information … This prompt expands your options for discussing personal growth. This is the prompt for the Common App coronavirus essay: "Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. It's far more comfortable in an application to celebrate successes and accomplishments than it is to discuss setbacks and failure. "Identity" is at the heart of this prompt. The question gives you an opportunity to identify something that kicks your brain into high gear, reflect on why it is so stimulating, and reveal your process for digging deeper into something that you are passionate about. (It doesn’t matter which prompt you pick. The Common App essay prompts for 2020-21 have been released and—spoiler alert—they’re exactly the same as last year’s! As such, virtually all students applying to U.S. colleges find themselves needing to complete the Common Application. Read on if this prompt intrigues you, annoys you, or you just want to know our thoughts on it. In fact, I recommend you write your essay first and then choose the prompt to match it.) Common App Essay #5 Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value. Each of these prompts lends itself to distinct topics and strategies, so selecting the prompt that best aligns with your idea is essential to writing an effective Common App essay. We know that it can get messy and confusing because it’s overwhelming. Common App Prompt #5: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between 2013 and 2016, but it returned again with the 2017-18 admissions cycle. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve.