Rising high school seniors wishing to get a jump on their college applications should know that the Common Application went live in the evening of July 31, 2012, several hours ahead of the August 1st scheduled launch. Frequently referred to as the Common App, the Common Application is used by more than 450 colleges and universities.
Students can start filling out their official applications, personal information, activities, and other details, as well as getting started on their short (activity) and long (personal statement) essays.
Within an hour of the launch, hundreds of students had registered an account.
The Common Application was developed in 1975 to streamline the process, and reduce redundant input, for student applying to multiple colleges and universities. Many schools using the Common Application also require Supplements, typically ask for additional information, and sometimes extra essays.
Below are the Common App (long) essay instructions and prompts for freshman applicants:
Please write an essay of 250-500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission.
Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.
- Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
- Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
- Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
- Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music or science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
- A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
- Topic of your choice.
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