Big news: Common App, the online platform that enables college applicants to apply to 1,000+ academic institutions, recently announced that the seven essay options it offers will remain the same again this year. The essay options (also called essay prompts) haven't changed for the past few years and Common App says the current prompts enjoy a 95% satisfaction rating across students, high school administrators, and colleges. Students will choose to write a 650-word essay using one of the seven options as part of their college application.
Common App historically releases the options this time each year to get students thinking now about the story they want to tell. "As we've always said, this is not a call for students to begin writing," Common App's Meredith Lombardi shares. At MN College Essay Coach, we couldn't agree more that it's not time to dive into these questions just yet.
We work with students to help them take a step back and determine their own personal story and what makes them unique, then choose which Common App essay prompt to respond to based on what they've already determined they want to convey about themselves. It's a subtle shift but an important one - we've had some students dive straight into one of the essay prompts before starting their work with us, only to change their prompt and the content they share after going through our key message process.
Another reason it's not time to start quite yet? It's critically important for high school juniors to stay focused on doing their best and letting their year play out before turning their attention to their college applications. We've found the ideal time to work on your Common App is the summer after your busy junior year ends and before your hectic senior year starts.