With prom season upon us, not to mention AP exams, SATs, ACTs, SAT Subject Tests, spring sports, and plain ‘ole school work, high school juniors have a lot on their plates.   Why should you care that the 2015-2016 common app essay prompts have been announced?

Because you can get a jump on things before September rolls around.  Once things settle down a bit at school, give some serious thought to shifting your focus toward next year’s college applications.  Early summer is a GREAT time to not only draft, but to finalize your common app essay.   Whether you are applying early action, early decision or regular decision, completing your common app essay will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment while freeing yourself up to concentrate on navigating supplemental and honors essay questions as well as the other components of your applications.

The essay prompts have changed slightly from last year, as indicated by the italics below:

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.


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