What can I do with the Common App essay topics?

The Common App just released the revised and new essay prompts for the 2017-2018 application season.  (The Common App is used by nearly 800 colleges and was used by 850,000 students to apply in the 2015-16 application season.)

With seven options this year for students to pick from, you can see that the Common App has chosen to make no changes to 2 prompts from the 16/17 season, has revised 3 of their previous prompts and added 2 additional prompts - including one "choose your own" topic.

With this information, students wishing to apply for college entrance in the fall of 2018 can start working on their essays.  While it may seem like quite a ways away, starting these essays early can give students plenty of time to receive feedback and improve their work.  (Here are some editing reminders and common app essay suggestions.)

A few friendly reminders as you work with students on their essays:

  • It needs to be their work - suggestions and recommendations are fine, but be careful not to write too much for them!
  • Make it memorable - readers will be swamped with great essays, make sure to stand out among the crowd.
  • Tell a story - the essay helps complete the rest of story that accompanies the application.  Be sure the story is complete and compelling.
  • Avoid mistakes - grammar, spelling, punctuation...it's all important for making a great first impression.

Start early, help them find their voice, make the necessary edits, and you may even be done before the senior year begins!

Looking for additional college essay support?  We can help!

Written by:

Edsel Clark, Ed.D.

Educator, Parent, and CEO/Co-Founder of myOWNedu