Skip to Content

The Common Application

common app college application

The Common Application is used by over 500 colleges and universities. Even though the Common Application provides the bulk of information and main essay required by these colleges, many schools require supplementary information and essays as well. These can also be found on The Common Application or College’s individual websites.

Click Here To Visit The Common App Website
The 2017-18 Common Application is now available

General Information:

The essay length will continue to be capped at 650 words. The essay prompts will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that they continue to serve students and member colleges well. It is very important that your essay does not repeat information you have listed in your activity list or resume.

2017-18 Essay Prompts:

Each college that you apply to can either require a response or leave it as an optional writing prompt for you. Once you’ve added schools to your My Colleges list, navigate to the Personal Essay section in the Writing Screen to see which schools require the essay and which schools leave it as an optional writing prompt. Even if a college does NOT require the Personal Essay, you may opt to submit it to that 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 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.


Ready, Aim, Fire!

college preparation search help

It's time to start your college search. But not so fast. Do a little research first. Check out informative college websites, take an online tour, read reliable college guide books and get feedback from friends who are already in college. Deciding where you will fit in and thrive for four years to come is a journey with many detours. So don't rush it. Give yourself plenty of time to get lost, change directions or stop and refuel.
 

 

Try It On First

college search help

How do you know where you want to go to college? What do you do to find out? The answer is found through personal experience. Visit a variety of local colleges and universities. You need to hang out at a sprawling state university, sit in on a seminar at a small liberal arts college, check out an 8'x10' dorm room, and eavesdrop on students in the dining hall. After doing this personal research, you'll be surprised at what fits, and what doesn't.
 

 

Highlight Your Passion

college application essay help

Colleges want a renaissance class made up of all types of students. What is your special talent? What sets you apart? Everyone has something they are passionate about, whether it’s quirky, off-the-beaten-path or more mainstream. Your individual passion is the thing that sets you apart from other college applicants and will ultimately round out a diverse class. Susan's specialty is to draw out your uniqueness and show you how to successfully communicate “who you are.”

 

about seo | page