Common App Essay Prompts 2017-2018


Hello friends, I'm back with another important topic. I know I'm posting after a very long time but I was very busy with a hell lot of exams and my health issues. I don't know what's happening with me but I've been sick more times in the past two years than in my whole life combined. It has made my grades take a nosedive which makes me more anxious about my college application.

Moving on to the topic, today I'll be talking about the Common App Essay Prompts for 2017-2018. So, Common App has introduced some changes in the essay prompts for this year. Let me first share the essay prompts with you and then I'll talk about how you can use these to draft a stand out application.

I'm sharing these prompts from the official Common App website. All the changes are in italics.

2017-2018 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. [No Change]
  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? [Revised]
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, or 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. [No Change]
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or a realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
  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? [New]
  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. [New]
As you can see, the revisions made to the existing prompts doesn't really change much. It just states the unstated but already clear things. For example in the second prompt, you can now talk about obstacles, challenges, setbacks, or failures instead of just failures. And just look at the revisions, they just added the synonyms to the prompt.


Moving forward, sixth and seventh prompts are the newbies to the party and will attract most of the essays from this year's applicants. The sixth prompt can be used by students to showcase both their creativity and positive traits at the same time. It could be especially useful for the students applying to the technological majors as they can put forward a technological idea which might help them to portray themselves as "techno-smart" which might boost their application.

The most prominent addition is the seventh essay prompt. It axiomatically steals all the limelight from all the other prompts. It allows the applicant to submit an essay on any topic of his choice which makes it the best. In fact, this option was available to the students in the older days but was later removed from the Common App. Return of this prompt in the Common App makes the job of an applicant a lot easier as one can now express oneself in the best possible way thus making the most out of the essay.

But it'll also make the job of the colleges a lot harder as now they'll be receiving essays from a whole bunch of varied and weird topics rather than just a handful of them thus making the evaluation process a lot harder.

To summarize, I'd say that the revision of the old prompts didn't exactly make a difference but the inclusion of the new prompts certainly provides applicants with more flexibility and power to showcase themselves exactly as they would like to.

So that's it for today guys. I apologize in advance as I won't be able to blog regularly till March because of my final examinations but I promise I'd blog regularly from April and devote a good amount of time helping you guys along with drafting my own college application. ;)

In the meanwhile, you can contact me through Email, Facebook, and Instagram. If you want to drop a message or a question, just drop it in the comments below or message on my Facebook page. You can also follow and message me on Instagram with #fusepp.
My Instagram username is tech_geek_eddie.

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