Common App Activity Essay

Common App Essay, Activity Essay, College Activity Essay

The Common App activity essay should showcase your creativity — just like in the personal statement.

The Common App activity essay is the place within your college application to write about your most meaningful extracurricular activity. This is an activity that should absolutely appear among your other extracurricular pursuits on the application. Too often, we hear from students who want to focus on an activity that they don’t list among their other activities in an effort to highlight an aspect of themselves that admissions counselors wouldn’t otherwise know. While it’s great to highlight an aspect of yourself that an admissions counselor wouldn’t otherwise know, this activity should still be listed among your activities. It should, after all, be your most significant one.

In the Common App activity essay, it’s important to be different — just like in the personal statement and supplements. Don’t just list your accomplishments. That will come across as bragging. Don’t just tell admissions counselors how frequently you participate in the activity. They can ascertain this information outside of this essay prompt. This is your chance to showcase to admissions counselors how meaningful an activity is to you, how you’ve fully immersed yourself in this activity, and how you intend to continue to pursue this passion.

For more information on the Common App activity essay, check out our blog Extracurricular Activities as well as our related video Common Mistakes on the Activity Sheet.


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