Common App Week: 2017-18 Topic Overview

Class of 2022! Your Common App essays are out and we cannot wait to talk about them. The Common App for the year 2017-18 are pretty much the same as last year’s, with a few small but notable changes. Of the five prompts we have come to know and love so well, two remain exactly the same, and three have undergone minor makeovers to expand the reach of each question and the breadth of a student’s potential responses. 

The Common App has also added two new prompts to the pot, one of which is a return to the much-coveted “topic of your choice.” So college applicants will now have seven essay prompts to choose from. All of these changes are good news for applicants, who are freer than ever to explore essay topics of all tones, styles, and subjects, and who now have a few extra cues at their fingertips to help ignite their creativity. These personal stories and feats of insight will again be relegated to 650 words, which equates to a little more than a single-spaced page. We happen to believe this is the perfect amount of space in which to make a quick and powerful impression with admissions counsellors. 

As you begin looking at the prompts remember: It does not matter what topic you choose (read more about this here). Begin thinking about essays like an inverted funnel. Start with the story and then choose the topic that it fits. This is where you get to talk about what makes you, you. Don’t look at it as an opportunity to sell yourself or your resume. Use this as a way to showcase your uniqueness, identity, and passion. 

These next weeks we will try to deconstruct each common app prompt in depth. Come chat with us and learn how to ace the common app!