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Students’ personal stories and feats of insight will again be relegated to 650 words, which equates to a little more than a single-spaced page.We happen to believe this is the perfect amount of space in which to make a quick and powerful impression with admissions (or write a comprehensive fan letter to Beyoncé), so as far as we’re concerned, you’re golden.
Hello, students and parents of the future class of 2024! The Common App essay prompts for 2019-20 have been released and—spoiler alert—they’re exactly the same as last year’s!
In 2017 the Common App added two new prompts to the pile, one of which was a return to the much-beloved “topic of your choice.” (Cue the confetti!
This is a process we call the Backwards Brainstorm, and you can learn more about it here.
For now, the main point we want you to take away is this: The prompts don’t really matter. (And that you floss at least every other day—trust us, it will pay off in the long run.) We are as sure as ever that every single one of you has a valuable story (or two or twelve! All it takes is ample time for reflection and a little writerly elbow grease to find it.
Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore.
Some key questions to consider: Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible.
For this reason, Prompt #3 can be a great vehicle for showcasing your consideration, persuasive skills, and passions to admissions.
We love Prompt #4, which asks students to talk about a problem and how they have solved or are planning to solve it.
Focus on the key words, “background,” “identity,” “interest,” and “talent,” and use them as launch points for your brainstorming.
What about your history, personality, hobbies, or accomplishments might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer?