It seems The Common Application may have taken our suggestion. Against what was previously planned, The Common Application has opted not to remove the essay prompt that asks students to write — more or less –about a topic of their choice in their personal statement. On the new Common Application, the first essay prompt will now be: “Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.” That question is about as “topic of your choice” as you can get.
The other possible questions to choose from on the 2013-2014 Common Application essay prompts ask applicants to recount a time when they experienced failure and how it impacted them, discuss a time when they challenged a belief and why, describe a place that makes them perfectly happy, and discuss an event or accomplishment that marked their transition into adulthood. Having a maximum of 650 words is also good should a student need more room to accomplish what they’re trying to say (though 500 is perfectly fine, too).
You can have your voice heard in the world of college admissions. If you think something should or shouldn’t change, speak out about it and sure enough the organization may in fact listen to you. The proposed changes by The Common App were not in the best interest of college applicants and, for the most part, they’ve listened and made changes accordingly.
Have a question on The Common App? Post it below! We look forward to hearing from you.