College Admissions Essay Prompts

One of the most daunting aspects of applying to college is the sheer number of essays you have to (wait, get to! Plus, now Stanford is going to not only learn about why improv comedy is meaningful to you, but also how it’s created a kind of community for you (thanks to Michigan) AND how it has equipped you with a unique perspective (thanks to Duke). Here’s a Venn Diagram to illustrate based on the Michigan/Duke/Stanford example above, but remember that this can be applied to any schools that have overlapping prompts: What’s that, you ask? That same essay could work for this prompt too, right? We’re brainstorming what I call tells the reader something more.that the personal statement essay prompts for the 2019-20 admissions season will remain unchanged for the third straight year.

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For example, writing an essay about your improv comedy troupe could probably work for both of these prompts (bold emphasis below is mine): Michigan: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage.

And that’s after you write the Personal Statement for your Common App. By doing so you’ll save tons of time and write better essays. Because writing an essay that works for several prompts leads to essays that have much more more (as in: they can stretch to fit multiple prompts), which often means they have more depth.

Quick math tells us that’s between eight and fifty college essay prompts to respond to. How to answer all your college essay prompts in less time: You know that expression, “A stitch in time saves nine? In this post I’m basically going to ask you to gather all your college essay prompts, then spend just 10-20 minutes looking for instances where they might overlap.

Follow my lead and it may not only save you dozens of hours of writing, it could improve the quality of those essays. The secret involves doing a little bit of research and creative brainstorming before deciding on your topic.

My troop engages in trail maintenance projects, and we actively monitor a trail we adopted from the NY/NJ Trail Conference.

I especially relished the opportunity to apply what I had learned in AP Biology towards actually helping preserve the environment.

15 (by which point most prompts are usually released for that year). Which ones could you imagine overlapping with the prompts above, or with your own potential “super” topic? You can also re-use content for those, but how to do that is the topic of a completely separate post.

Click here to learn how to write your “Why us” essay.

I’ve developed a pretty simple, step-by-step process to help you see which essay prompts can overlap.

It’s a topic that could potentially work for multiple prompts. Look to your brag sheet, resume, or Activities List. If this isn’t working for you, choose something that: You’ve spent a LOT of time doing ANDIs either awesomely impressive (like a research internship) OR interesting/weird (like leading historical hikes)ANDIs NOT something you’ve already written about in your main statement. Take a few minutes now to come up with 2-3 options.

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