Hundreds of colleges and universities use the Common App process. For many schools, this includes responding to one of several college essay topics, which can change each year. Here are the essay prompts for the current application cycle (check with your chosen school/s to see if an essay is required).
Tell us about a time where you challenged your pre-existing worldview. Why Would you do this againIn this essay, choose a time that you were able to listen to experiences and perspectives contrary to yours with respect and maturity. Demonstrate that you are able to zoom out from your personal worldview and learn from those you may disagree with. This can not only give colleges an idea of your ability to engage in difficult ideological debates, but also your character and humility.
Talk about a personal accomplishment that is unrelated to academics, but that means a lot to you.For this essay, focus on a unique accomplishment that illustrates the diversity that you can bring to your university and really tells a lot about who you are. It can be a big or small accomplishment as long as it means a lot to you.
Pick a law and explain why it is so important to you.There are many ways to interpret this kind of prompt. Whether you talk about a political law, religious law, physical law or something else, make sure to connect it your personal experiences. The more unique you are, the more likely an admissions officer will remember your essay.
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To make sure you choose the right topic, ask for advice from trusted friends or family members who know you well. They can help you brainstorm ideas and remember stories, and they can give you feedback on your potential essay topics.
Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:
Most colleges and universities in the United States require applicants to submit at least one essay as part of their application. But trying to figure out what college essay topics you should choose is a tricky process. There are so many potential things you could write about!
In this guide, we go over the essential qualities that make for a great college essay topic and give you 50+ college essay topics you can use for your own statement. In addition, we provide you with helpful tips for turning your college essay topic into a stellar college essay.
First off, good college essay topics are extremely specific: you should know all the pertinent facts that have to do with the topic and be able to see how the entire essay comes together.
For example, an OK topic would be your experience volunteering at a cat shelter over the summer. But a better, more specific college essay topic would be how you deeply connected with an elderly cat there named Marty, and how your bond with him made you realize that you want to work with animals in the future.
In addition to being specific, good college essay topics reveal to admissions officers who you are: your passions and interests, what is important to you, your best (or possibly even worst) qualities, what drives you, and so on.
Writing a college essay is no simple task. Get expert college essay tips with our guides on how to come up with great college essay ideas and how to write a college essay, step by step.
Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges.
A classic college essay, this idea gives you a broad prompt where you can choose something from your own life (a background, interest, talent, etc.) that you think your application would be incomplete without.
One of the most personal struggles there is is to have your beliefs challenged, so how you were able to process that and make a change or stand in your resolve can tell a college a lot about who you are.
For example, The Hunger Games (which is widely chosen for essay topics and I would recommend choosing something else unless you have a unique perspective) has many difficult decisions that the characters must face.
The Penn application process includes a personal essay as well as supplemental short answer prompts. We read your words carefully, as they are yet another window into how you think, what you value, and how you see the world. Through your writing, we get a glimpse of what you might bring to our community, including your voice and creativity.
This is a common go-to topic for many students. If done well, recounting a trip to a foreign country will reveal something deeply personal and meaningful about you. Unfortunately, the travel essay is rarely executed well.
Writing in an authentic voice does not mean scribbling down some stream-of-consciousness thoughts 24 hours before the application deadline. There is a popular myth that Abraham Lincoln penned the Gettysburg Address on a napkin en route to the battlefield. In truth, he spent over two weeks crafting the speech and went through five full drafts. All of that labor for a 272-word document about half the length of a college essay! To sum up: The more time that you dedicate to your essay, the better the product will be.
Each school approaches college essay prompts differently. Each school may provide both required and optional college essay prompts. Most selective colleges will require you to write some kind of personal statement. Many also have school-specific supplemental college essay prompts and short answer questions. Below, sample college essays that worked show how students like you approached these prompts and impressed top schools.
Many top colleges and universities use a holistic process when reviewing applications. That means they evaluate your essays alongside your academic history, extracurriculars, and test scores to learn who you are, what has made you the person you are today, and what you might bring to a college campus.
Many colleges have also tried to demystify the college application process and provide helpful resources. Some schools, like Johns Hopkins and Hamilton, even provide their own examples of college essays that worked, including Common App essay examples. This can give you a sense of what their admissions team looks for.
All college essay prompts will require your best writing and ideas. Understanding the differences between the types of college essay samples can help you learn how to approach your college essay prompts.
You will apply to colleges using the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or a school-specific portal. Each of these application portals will have their own unique prompts and specific word counts. However, all of our examples of personal essays serve a similar purpose and require a similar writing process.
Beyond your personal statement for college, many schools ask you to write school-specific supplemental essays. Our college application essay examples will cover a range of supplemental essay prompts, including why you are interested in a particular school or a particular major.
When looking at college essays that worked, whether personal essay examples or short essay examples, it may be challenging to discern exactly what makes a great sample college essay great. In our college essay examples guide, our examples of college essays (in addition to being correctly formatted) have succeeded across a few criteria.
You can apply these criteria to all of our college application essay examples, including our Common App essay examples, examples of personal essays, and short essay examples. A strong sample college essay, no matter the length, will use these three elements to create a compelling story that will show a school how you would enrich their campus.
As you read through our examples of college essays, you may get stuck on trying to pick a topic that is 100% unique or obviously impressive. Instead of worrying about what makes you unique from other applicants, focus on being honest and being true to yourself. Remember, no one is exactly like you. So, follow the blueprint our sample college essays provide, but stay true to who you are.
Each college essay example addresses a unique prompt within a specific word count. So, our Common App essay examples may be more helpful to reference when writing your personal statement. Our short essay examples, by contrast, may be more helpful as you tackle your supplemental essays.
Each of these examples of college essays comes from our advisor network. Moreover, every sample college essay helped its writer get into a top school. So, they are all good examples of personal essays to use as you start your writing process.
Our guide will walk you through these examples of college essays and show you how to write one of the best college essays you can. Later on, we break down why these sample college essays were successful and show you how you can replicate that success in your own personal statement for college.
The first of our Common App essay examples comes from a student named Elinor. In the first of our personal essay examples, she highlights her involvement in a club in an innovative and exciting way. Her tone, structure, and style each help her essay stand out from other examples of college essays.
Often, good examples of college essays also read like short stories in which the writer is the main character. While Elinor does mention other people in her Common App essay, she remains focused on her own actions and emotional state. In the third paragraph, she describes in detail how she responded to a crisis. She first explains her thought process, then she tells us what action she took to address the crisis. 153554b96e