The 2014-2015 Common Application, scheduled to launch on August 1, 2014, will include five “personal statement” essay prompts. The prompts were designed to enable applicants to tell their unique stories as part of a holistic selection process.
It was announced in February 2014 that the 2014-2015 prompts will remain unchanged from 2013-2014.
Students are instructed to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic that “helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice” and enables “readers of your application to know you apart from courses, grades, and test scores” using the prompt “to inspire and structure your response”.
The Common Application will also be placing a limit of 650 words for the “personal statement” essay with the caveat that 650 words is the limit, not the goal. The application will not accept a response shorter than 250 words.
The following prompts will appear on the 2014 -1015 Common Application:
• Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
• Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
• Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
• Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.