Common App Releases Essay Prompts for 2013-2014 Season

The Common App has just released its new essay prompts for the 2013-2014 admissions season. While some have criticized the Common App for removing the "topic of your choice" option, the new essay topics offer a great amount of flexibility in terms of what topic to focus on. The questions are as follows:

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

In addition, the Common App is increasing the length of essays to a maximum of 650 words, and it will not accept submissions over that limit or less than 250 words. Hopefully, juniors will take advantage of the early announcement of these prompts in order to create their College Essay Organizer account for next year and get started brainstorming topics.


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