The Common Application (Common App)

The Common Application has announced that the 2021-2022 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2020-2021 essay prompts, with one exception. They will retire the seldom-used option about solving a problem and replace it with the following:

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

They will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.

The new prompt is inspired by scientific research on gratitude and kindness, specifically the benefits of writing about the positive influence of other people in our lives.

The max word count for your Common App essay will remain at 650 words. 

The 2021-2022 Common Application 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 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. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? (New)

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.

The Coalition Application (Coalition App)

Many of the colleges and universities that accept the Coalition Application require you to submit at least one essay as part of your application. You can start working on these essays at any time and save drafts in your MyCoalition Locker. 

The Coalition App recommends that students aim for a word count of between 500-650 words.

The 2021-2022 Coalition Application Essay Prompts

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 student 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.

Does your student need help with writing a strong personal statement that will help them stand out against thousands of applicants? Check out more information about our Essay Support Service by clicking here.

US College Experts is an educational consulting company entirely dedicated to preparing, inspiring, and connecting students to the best college opportunities.

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