Common App Sample Essays

The Insider: College Admissions Advice from the Experts is where College Coach experts weigh in on the latest college admissions topics.We cover everything from application timelines and strategies to tips on financing your child's education.Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in.

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Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.

” When I help students brainstorm potential essay topics, I usually ask them dozens of questions, hoping to unearth just a single response that will capture the interest of a college admissions officer.

For some students, however, the essay prompts themselves can provide a great source of inspiration.

A strong Common App essay can be written on virtually any topic.

College admissions officers use your personal statement to get to know you as an individual beyond your transcript and test scores, and the essay can be a powerful factor in determining those students who are admitted and those who are not.Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific! A vague essay about a hot button issue doesn’t tell the admissions committee anything useful about YOU.This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick.(These prompts are unchanged from the 2018-19 application season.) As we noted in a previous blog post, prompt number 7 actually grants students permission to write their own essay question and respond to it. Despite (or perhaps in light of) all this intellectual and creative freedom, you may find yourself stuck.Don’t worry, one of the most common questions all high schoolers have is, “What should I write my college essay about? Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges.The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores (and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool).Don’t forget to explain why the problem is important to you!Just like Prompt #2, the accomplishment or event you write about can be anything from a major milestone to a smaller "aha" moment.But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance!That’s why the last piece of this prompt is essential.

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