The Ivy Coach Daily

February 16, 2021

2021-2022 Common Application Essay Prompts

The 2021-2022 Common App. essay prompts are not so different from last year’s prompts (photo credit: Sach1tb).

The 2021-2022 Common Application essay prompts have been released and we’ve got them for our readers. The headline? The essay prompts will remain the same, with one exception. The following essay prompt, which was the least selected by college applicants among last year’s seven options, is no more: “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 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.” In its place? The new prompt will read: “Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you.”

Common App. Releases 7 Personal Statement Prompts

The seven prompts for the 2021-2022 Common Application will read as follows, as Common App. released this week.

  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.
  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?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  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?
  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.

The Covid-19 Additional Essay Prompt Lives On

If you’re wondering if the optional Covid-19 essay prompt will be on this year’s application, as it was on last year’s application, the answer is yes. As Common App. writes on its site, “We will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.” And if you’re wondering if your child should answer this prompt, you must be new to our college admissions blog because as our loyal readers know all too well, that which is optional in highly selective college admissions should not be considered optional.

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