Demystifying the Common App 

I’ve mentioned the Common App a few times in previous posts about how to write outstanding enrollment essays [ link]. For those of you who might be wondering what the Common App is and how it benefits your enrollment plans, look no further! 

What is the Common App?

Think about traditional enrollment in multiple colleges for a second. You have complete paperwork for every single one, work with a different enrollment department for every single one, and deal with the hassle of systems that don’t seem to line up. Does this sound frustrating to you? The Common App (and the Coalition App) streamlined this process to save you – and universities – time. One application covers most of your college applications. One set of information, one set of essays, 

What kind of essay prompts can you expect?

One of the most useful aspects of the Common App is you can see which colleges and universities accept it by searching and selecting the ones you want your application available for. It has deadlines and dates and priorities of each so you can easily see what you need to provide.

The essays intend for you to have this in one place as well. You can choose as many as you want – it’s not mandatory to answer all seven with the optional eighth one. However, responding to more than one gives you the advantage to show them more about you, your interests, and what you have to the need to only write one essay. Yup, you heard me right. One essay. Without giving too much away, here are some prompts you can expect to see for 2022-2023.

  1. Share your story on how a background, identity, or talent is meaningful to you.
  2. Recount a time when you experienced a challenge or failure and what you learned.
  3. Reflect on something that someone did for you that has made you thankful.

If you noticed a theme here, you’d be right. The principle behind these prompts is telling your story.

“But won’t all the other students be writing the same essay as me? How can I stand out?” you may be thinking at this point.

I’m glad you asked! Check out my recent blog post on how to stand out in the crowd with your essay. Remember, you’re telling the enrollment office your story. There are ways to make that individual and unique.

However, it’s always advisable to check your top choices to see what they are looking for and to fill out their essays and application if you want to be noticed. Putting in the extra effort will show them how eager and motivated you are to attend there.

For more information on how to write a college entrance essay, read here.

Contact me to create an outline for your common app answers and solidify your topics. Doing this early will give you the best chance of showcasing yourself to your scholarship program or college of choice.

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