Common App Essay Prompts for 2015-16: How to Choose

common app essayChanges to the Common App Essay for 2015-16 were released March 31st.

Prompt #4 is brand new; the others have been tweaked slightly. Which Common App essay should you choose? Take a look at the new Common App essay prompts below, then check out our video tutorial on selecting the best essay.

Common App Essay Prompts:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. 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.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Which Common App essay prompt did colleges report to be the most effective?

Plus, how do you know which prompt matches your most promising material? Check out our video for answers to these questions and more Common App essay tips!