Revisions affecting decisions

Common App changes essay prompts


Georgia colleges and universities use The Common Application for admission purposes. The Common App altered their essay prompts to assist future college students through the application process, making it easier for applicants to express themselves in writing. The Common Application will respond to information requests and media inquiries from media sources. To submit a request, please contact Aba Blankson at [email protected] Be sure to include your name and news organization, as well as the topic that you are covering, and your question.

Kate Chasey, Staff Writer

Each year as the holidays wrap up, college applications unravel. For many, filling out college applications is undoubtedly a stressful process. Thankfully, The Common Application has developed a more effective way to assist students on their journeys to applying for college.

Common App gives students the opportunity to submit a college application to a variety of schools through one online application process. Some colleges require additional essays along with their general application. According to The Huffington Post, “the Common App essay prompts have one purpose: to help you introduce yourself to your colleges.” Common App has revised those prompts available for students interested in writing another essay for their application

One of the largest components of The Common App is the essay portion. With a 650 character limit, each essay prompt leaves much room for creativity. The essay prompts were altered for the overall benefit of students and their ability to express themselves in writing. According to a Common App blog post, “the goal of these revisions is to help all applicants, regardless of background or access to counseling, see themselves and their stories within the prompts.”

Although the original Common App writing prompts gained plenty of positive feedback, the advisory committees saw an opportunity to better the prompts and their effectiveness. According to Common App, “working in close consultation with the counselors and admission officers on our advisory committees, we revised these prompts in a way that we believe will help students see expanded opportunities for expressing themselves.”

Taking effect during the 2017-2018 school year, Common App will consist of these prompts:

  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. [No change]
  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? [Revised]
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
  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. [No change]
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
  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? [New]
  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. [New]

For full details regarding the changes to The Common Application, click here.