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Feb 5

Written by: kmurphy
Sunday, February 5, 2017 

The Common Application has released their 2017-2018 essay prompts after reviewing feedback from high school seniors, counselors and teachers. There are now 7 prompts to choose from, including a fan favorite from the past which allows students to "share an essay on any topic of your choice." The word limit will remain the same at 650 for all prompts.

If you are a high school seniors eager to start thinking about your essays (it is ok if you aren't - I recommend focusing on exploring your college choices first), here are the new and revised 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. [No change]

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

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. [No change]

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]

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