Application Essays

Application Essays

BREAKING NEWS! The Common App has yet again changed its application essay prompts – just in time for the 2017-18 application season. Last year we saw no changes whatsoever and in 2015-16 saw only minor tweaks with the introduction of a new prompt. This year brings more tweaks in the form of brand new wording in addition to two entirely new options. There is now a total of seven prompts (up from five), although the word limit remains the same at 650.
Oftentimes, students who are applying to college select schools that they consider "reach schools" for early decision and early action. Now that many of the early deadlines for college admissions have passed, you may be wondering whether your list has the right mix of reach schools, target schools, and safety schools.
College admissions committees are a tough crowd. You won’t gain their acceptance with generic, ill-prepared essays; they want insight, solid examples of your experience, quality writing and a genuine voice, to name just a few. Voice, especially, can offer admissions counselors insight into who you are as an individual. It’s a way to stand out from the pack—just be sure that it is your voice you’re using, and not something forced or adopted from someone else.     
Earlier this year, we wrote about the new essay prompts appearing on this year’s Common Application and strategies for approaching them. Here, we will take a brief look at some of the other major renovations to this staple in college admissions.
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