I did whatever I thought would make me happy. And it paid off. I was no longer socially awkward. In fact, because I was involved in so many unrelated activities, I was socially flexible. I had finally become my own person. 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. Even though the prompt allows you to explore more academic and intellectual topics, it is important not to get carried away with esoteric details. Bottom line, the topic you choose for this prompt should, like every topic, highlight your personality, identity, and how you think about the world.
Be sure to describe the event or experience that caused you to realize the gravity of the problem, the specific actions you took to plan or execute your solution i.
For example, if you care deeply about drug education because of a past experience with a friend or family member, you could outline a plan to bring young-adult speakers to your school to positively influence your peers and stress the real dangers of drugs. As an alternative, this prompt gives you the opportunity to address a more ambitious, hypothetical problem you would like to solve. For example, you could address the logistical and legal problems of high-speed rail in the United States, the complex environmental and economic problems of using fossil fuels, or even the ethical dilemma of creating A.
Be careful to frame your hypothetical problem clearly, explain why it is a problem, outline the important points, and explain your steps to create a solution. Prompt 5 Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
This prompt is expansive in that you can choose any accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked personal growth or new understanding. One option is to discuss a formal accomplishment or event whether it is a religious ritual or social rite of passage that reflects personal growth. If you go this route, make sure to discuss why the ritual was meaningful and how specific aspects of said ritual contributed to your personal growth. An example of this could be the meaning of becoming an Eagle Scout to you, the accomplishment of being elected to Senior Leadership, or completing a Confirmation.
Alternatively, a more relaxed way to address this prompt is using an informal event or realization, which would allow you to show more personality and creativity. An example of this could be learning how to bake with your mother, thus sparking a newfound connection with her, allowing you to learn about her past. Having a long discussion about life or philosophy with your father could also suffice, thus sparking more thoughts about your identity.
You could write about a realization that caused you to join a new organization or quit an activity you did not think you would enjoy, as doing so would force you to grow out of your comfort zone to try new things. The key to answering this prompt is clearly defining what it is that sparked your growth, and then describing in detail the nature of this growth and how it related to your perception of yourself and others.
Your growth can also be left open-ended if you are still learning from your experiences today. This essay describes the new tasks she undertook, as well as how the writer now more greatly cherishes her time with her mother.
My mother had been a source of strength for me, and now I would be strong for her through her long recovery ahead. As I started high school, everyone thought the crisis was over, but it had really just started to impact my life. My mother was often fatigued, so I assumed more responsibility, juggling family duties, school, athletics, and work.
I made countless trips to the neighborhood pharmacy, cooked dinner, biked to the grocery store, supported my concerned sister, and provided the loving care my mother needed to recover.
I now take ownership over small decisions such as scheduling daily appointments and managing my time but also over major decisions involving my future, including the college admissions process. My mother remains a guiding force in my life, but the feeling of empowerment I discovered within myself is the ultimate form of my independence. Why does it captivate you?
What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? This prompt allows you to expand and deepen a seemingly small or simple idea, topic, or concept. A tip for expanding on these topics and achieving specificity is to select particular details of the topic that you find intriguing and explain why. You can delve into why certain spices or garnishes are superior in different situations, how flavors blend well together and can be mixed creatively, or even the chemistry differences between steaming, searing, and grilling.
Regardless of your topic, this prompt provides a great opportunity to display writing prowess through elegant, specific descriptions that leverage sensory details. Princeton Short Answers For the last three years, I have savored the intellectual stimulation and pressure-filled competition of Public Forum debate, but I have also grown tired of my favorite activity being dominated by boys.
This year, as debate captain, I strengthened my high school team into a female-majority powerhous After tracing the first line on the paper, you need to pull the pen upwards and move across a third dimension, through the air, before dropping it back down onto the paper and making a second stroke to complete the X.
With constant use, it becomes part of you. But, sitting on a soft couch at a Starbucks in c Why Rice "We are going to visit Rice today" My mom leaned back in her front row seat and said to me.
My brain went into a frenzy. All other questions flooding my thoughts dissipated, however, when my eyes lay on Rice's beautiful Byzantine styled buildings with its magnificent archways Football and Journalism One bead of sweat splashes across the newspaper headline. Still dressed in full football pads, I sit alone in the journalism computer lab, editing copy a few minutes before 9 p.
Three hours after football practice, my cleats, untied, remain stuck on my feet and I have barely even made a dent in th I open my crusty eyes and stare at her, bleary-eyed. My eleven year old eyes struggle to focus, in need of glasses and lacking the money to purchase them. Common App Prompt 1 — "Half" My brother and I have never thought twice about the technicality of being twins. It has always been, for us, a matter of fact. New Me It was always, and still is, entertaining to listen to the botched attempts of my teachers to pronounce my last name.
Set it aside for a few days and read it again. Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? Do the ideas flow logically? Does it reveal something about the applicant? No repeats. What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application—nor should it repeat it. This isn't the place to list your awards or discuss your grades or test scores.
Answer the question being asked. Don't reuse an answer to a similar question from another application. Have at least one other person edit your essay. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay. A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover.
So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships.
Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier.
Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family. So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s. Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing.
Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable. This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays.
I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay. Remember, this essay is about YOU.
What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays? Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students. Honor your inspiration. My parents would have much preferred that I write about sports or youth group, and I probably could have said something interesting about those, but I insisted on writing about a particular fish in the pet store I worked at—one that took much longer than the others to succumb when the whole tank system in the store became diseased.
It was a macabre little composition, but it was about exactly what was on my mind at the time I was writing it. I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self. I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests.
Revise often and early. Your admissions essay should go through several stages of revision. Ask your parents, teachers, high school counselors or friends for their eyes and edits. It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about. The most obvious things make great topics. What do I mean? Colleges want to learn about who you are, what you value and how you will contribute to their community.
I had two students write about their vehicles—one wrote about the experience of purchasing their used truck and one wrote about how her car is an extension of who she is. We learned about their responsibility, creative thinking, teamwork and resilience in a fun and entertaining way. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them what YOU want. Of course you want it to be a good read and stay on topic, but this is about showing admissions who you are.
You don't want to get caught up in thinking too much about what they are expecting. Focus your thoughts on yourself and what you want to share.
This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consulting , consults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch. Be yourself. A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self.
While you want to share your thoughts in the best possible light edit please! Show your depth. Be honest about what matters to you. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. Be your brilliant self. And trust that your perfect-fit college will see you for who truly you are and say "Yes! This is exactly who we've been looking for. Admission officers can spot parent content immediately.
The quickest way for a student to be denied admission is to allow a parent to write or edit with their own words. Parents can advise, encourage, and offer a second set of eyes, but they should never add their own words to a student's essay. This college essay tip is by Suzanne Shaffer is a college prep expert, blogger, and author who manages the website Parenting for College.
Don't just write about your resume, recommendations, and high school transcripts. Admissions officers want to know about you, your personality and emotions. For example, let them know what hobbies, interests, or passions you have. Do you excel in athletics or art?
Let them know why you excel in those areas. It's so important to just be yourself and write in a manner that lets your personality shine through.
This college essay tip is by College Basic Team. Find a way to showcase yourself without bragging. Being confident is key, but you don't want to come across as boasting. Next, let them know how college will help you achieve your long-term goals.
This college essay tip is by Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at the Derryfield School in Manchester, N. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. He does this through specific images and objects.
My brain went into a frenzy. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER. Focus your thoughts on yourself and what you want to share. My mother and my father wept after they closed the shop. Framing the prompt in this way allows you to tackle heavier questions about ethics and demonstrate your self-awareness.
Midnight had come and gone three hours ago, and the long evening had taken its toll. Instead, I was standing under the looming flicker of the departures board, weary of the word. I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. I was always more likely to admit or advocate for a student who was real and allowed me to get to know them in their essay.
Writing about an interest is a way to highlight passions that may not come across in the rest of your application. The most meaningful essays are those where I feel like the student is sitting next to me, just talking to me. Fireplace: What does a fireplace connote? This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college.
It nudged forward as it felt its Be careful to frame the essay in a way that is accessible to the average reader while still incorporating quality evidence and content that would qualify you as an expert. Showing then telling gives you an opportunity to set-up your essay for what I believe to be the single most important element to any personal statement: insight. A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self.
The Ortiz family was my fourth family. That might look like this: At Brown I look forward to pursuing a double concentration in both public health and business, while also tapping into other, more unconventional academic interests, such as ancient history and etymology. Then, in high school, I developed an enthusiasm for Chinese. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. Try the imperative, think about your future tense, when you would have looked back to the imperfect that defines us and awaits us. My freshman year I took a world history class and my love for history grew exponentially.