The Common Application has announced that the 2016-2017 personal statement essay prompts will be the same as the 2015-2016 prompts. By conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as students, parents , and counselors, about the effectiveness of the essay prompts.
These prompts are designed to elicit information that will strengthen the other components of the application. "We want to make sure that every applicant can find a home within the essay prompts, and that they can use the prompts as a starting point to write an essay that is authentic and distinguishing," said Scott Anderson, former school counselor and current Senior Director for Programs and Partnerships for The Common Application.
The current Common Application , CA4, launched on August 1st, 2013, and the essay prompts were revised for the 2015-16 college application cycle. They have not changed for 2016-17. When CA4 launched, one of the biggest changes from the previous version was the essay section. Gone were the six essay prompts from the past decade, and college applicants no longer have the Topic of Your Choice option. With the 2015-16 udpates, the "describe a place" option has been replaced by #4 below on solving a problem.
The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application. With CA4, the length limit for the essay was increased from 500 words to 650 (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the five options below. The new prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection. If your essay doesn t include some self-analysis, you haven t fully succeeded in responding to the prompt.
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