College Essay

Below is the full set of Common App 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.

  1. 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?

  1. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

  1. 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?

  1. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

  1. 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?

Update on April 2021: The Apply Texas prompts will remain the same for the next school year (for the class of 2022).

The Apply Texas application is a common application form for most Texas public universities. It allows students to input their information for several different colleges at once. ApplyTexas college essay prompts for class of 2020 are:

  1. Essay A: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

  2. Essay B: Some students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of these students, then tell us about yourself.

  3. Essay C: You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

  4. Essay D: Personal interaction with objects, images and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study (architecture, art history, design, studio art, visual art studies/art education), describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image or space effected this type of change in your thinking. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?

  5. Essay E: Choose an issue of importance to you - the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope - and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.

Tips for Writing a College Essay

The college essay application is your chance to make you sound unique and tell your experiences you have had and what you have learned from them. Show the college what you care about and the kind of person you are. Some topics could include:

  • family history and culture: how you connect to your ancestors, heritage, and parents

  • important events: how one or two events have really shaped your identity or perspective on learning or life

  • challenging experience: how you persevered through a challenging experience and what you learned

  • goals and dreams: what your goals, ambitions, or dreams are

  • issues of personal, local, or national concern: how are you connected to a specific global issue that is important to you and how has it guided to your goals, dreams, or identity

  • failures or set backs: what are some important lessons from failures or set backs you have experienced and what have they taught you

  • challenging beliefs: how have you challenged beliefs to speak your truth

  • unique talents or experiences: what unique talents or experiences have made you wonderfully you in how you see the world and how have they contributed to you as a learner and your career interests

Essay Structure

Come up with two or three main points that you want to develop

  1. Introduction: include a brief hook and then lead into a thesis statement addressing the prompt

  2. Support Point #1: include your first support point that will support your thesis and include examples and explanations to support the point.

  3. Support Point #2: include your second support point that will support your thesis and include examples and explanations to support the point.

  4. Support Point #3: include your third support point that will support your thesis and include examples and explanations to support the point.

  5. Conclusion: reemphasize your main point and leave on an insight about yourself and your future