The Common Application has announced that the 2016-2017 personal statement essay prompts will be the same as the 2015-2016 prompts. These prompts are designed to elicit information that will strengthen the other components of the application.
“We want to make sure that every applicant can find a home within the essay prompts, and that they can use the prompts as a starting point to write an essay that is authentic and distinguishing,” said Scott Anderson, former school counselor and current Senior Director for Programs and Partnerships for The Common Application.
2016-2017 Essay Prompts
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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
4. 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 that is 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.
5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
The college essay matters.
When applying to competitive schools, essays can make a significant difference in the number and quality of acceptance students receive.
According to Kevin McMullin, founder of CollegeWise, “An effective college essay helps an admissions officer get to know you in ways that an application cannot. It makes them like you and picture you on campus. And most importantly, it gives them a reason to choose you as one of those students that they will bring to committee to make a case for admission.
More commonly, a great essay takes you from being just another kid among many with great qualifications and moves you to an applicant an admissions officer will lobby for. They’ll share your story and their vision for why they believe you deserve a spot on campus. And, at the more selective colleges, that’s about the best you can reasonably hope for in this process—one person who’s convinced, who will make an effort to convince the rest of the committee.”
How to write a winning college essay
In order to write a winning essay, you’ll need to craft a piece that is stellar in every way: content, organization, tone, and writing that is 100% free from errors.
To help, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics offers 1-on-1 writing tutoring in Wilmington, Delaware. Our experienced, professional tutors will work with you to find your voice, choose a topic, revise, proofread and hone your essay.
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