Last week, the Common Application announced that the essay prompts for 2020-2021 will remain the same as they were in 2019-2020 application. So, what are you waiting for? Now is a great time to start brainstorming topics for your Common App essay.
2020-2021 Common Application Essay Prompts
During the 2018-2019 application year, the most popular topic was #7: “Share an essay on any topic of your choice…” (24.1%). With this last prompt, you have free rein to write about practically anything. How should you decide?
Keep in mind that the colleges will already have a lot of information about you in your application – your high school transcript, your activity list, demographic information, maybe even recommendations. Your essay is an opportunity to tell the college something they don’t already know – to give them greater insight on what makes you – YOU! The key is to find a topic that allows you to tell your most important story in an authentic voice.
Look at each Common App essay prompt. Give yourself two minutes for each question (set a timer) and jot down the first idea (or two or three) that comes to mind. Some prompts may spark multiple ideas – some may challenge you to really think. However, in less than 15 minutes, you’ve already created a working list of essay topics.
Put this list away for now and try this exercise again in a week or two. Do you find yourself gravitating to one or two of the questions? Which answers come most naturally to you? Which is your most important story?
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