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Articles / Admissions / 2014-15 Common App Essay Prompts

Sept. 12, 2019

2014-15 Common App Essay Prompts

Question: In a previous question THE DEAN posted the essay prompts would not change for the common application. My son (a Junior in H.S.) would like to work on his essays this Summer. Where can he find the essay prompts for the common application?

If your son had Googled “Common Application Essay Prompts,” he would have found this link from the Common App folks right at the top of his search results: https://appsupport.commonapp.org/link/portal/33011/33013/Article/1694/2014-15-Common-Application-Essay-Prompts

From there, he would have seen the list of the five prompts, which are:


–Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

–Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

— Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

–Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

–Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

I am the mother of a high school junior boy, too. I realize that I must pick my battles and that sometimes life can be a lot smoother when I take the lead on tasks that should be his to do. But I also realize that I’m probably doing my son a disservice in the long-run. So I suggest that, instead of handing your son these prompts, tell him to find them himself. You’ve got my list to give him in case he screws up, but I can almost guarantee that he won’t.

Good luck with the admissions maze ahead. I share your pain!

 

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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