These are the current essay prompts.
The Common Application has announced that the 2019-2020 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2018-2019 essay prompts.
Common App Essay Prompts
The word limit on the essay is 650.
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 obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
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, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
University of Maryland Essay Prompts
Note that Maryland now accepts the Coalition application and that these prompts are the same as the Coalition’s.
Please answer one of the following essay questions in your application. Make sure to include the question itself at the start of your essay. Your essay should be no more than 500 words; the question will not be included in the essay total word count.
1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Essay Prompts
From the Coalition: “In general, we have found that concise, straightforward writing is often the best for college essays, and that good essays are often 300 to 400 words in length. While there is no perfect length for an essay, most application readers find college essays are rarely improved when they are longer than 500 to 550 words, and we strongly recommend you stay within that limit. For more information on specific application requirements, please consult the website for each institution to which you are applying, as requirements often vary.”
The prompts for the 2019-20 application years are:
- Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
- Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
- Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
- What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
- Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
Elon University Prompts (2018-19)
The essay is used by the admissions committee to evaluate your ability to write and present on one of the topics below. Here are some tips when writing your essay:
1. Edit! Make sure to use spellcheck and have someone else read your essay before submitting it.
2. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
3. Your essay should be approximately 500 words.
Essay Prompt Options (you will choose one):
- If you could create a new course that all Elon students are required to take, what is the title, what is the focus and why does it interest you?
- In 1923 a fire destroyed the majority of Elon’s campus, reducing buildings to ash. The community faced this adversity rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, which is now our mascot. Describe a time when you rose from hardship and demonstrated resilience.
- At Elon’s New Student Convocation, every first-year student receives an acorn and is encouraged to keep it until graduation. Four years later at Commencement, every graduate receives an oak sapling symbolizing their growth and transformation. How do you hope to grow and transform during your time at Elon?
Supplemental Essay Topics 2018 – 2019
Choose one of four; 400 words maximum.
Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?
When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?
Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?
Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?