The big news is that Common Application removed one prompt question, about about a problem you’d like to solve, and replaced 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.”
Living through the pandemic inspired Common App to tackle a question that focuses on gratitude and kindness. We’ve all endured and encountered new and different experiences, and this prompt is a great way to think critically about your own personal growth.
“Particularly at this challenging time, we can help students think about something positive and heartfelt in their lives,” said Common App CEO Jenny Rickard. “And we can do it explicitly.”
Common App conducted research with educators who have a deep understanding of these values and the mission of the Common App essay prompts, and they believe the new prompt will generate stories that students are inspired to write and that colleges are excited to read.
Here are all seven of the Common Application essay prompts for 2021-2022.
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?