Common Application 2019-20
Historically, the Common Application (Common App), has purged all accounts in July each summer, so if you were to create an account in your junior year, it would simply be erased over the summer. Common App now rolls over all accounts on August 1st of each summer.
What does this mean for you?
If you intend to apply to any schools which use the Common App, you may create your Common App account and begin working on your essay now -- or whenever you are ready! Your username and Common App ID and all Common App data will all be preserved. The current list of schools who use the Common Application is available as an attachment below. I encourage you to check out the list of schools to see if any you are interested in are on the current list. Please note that the list is in alphabetical order by state. Although Mizzou now accepts the Common App, you should not complete the entire Common App if they are the only school you are applying to on that site (they have their own app that you can use on their website that is much simpler!).
About the "Essay"...
Some, but not all, colleges require the submission of the personal essay with your Common Application. You may submit a personal essay to any Common App college, even if it is not required by that college. If not required by a college, you will be given the option during the submission process to include your essay (or not) for that particular college. You will select one of the five essay prompts and provide an answer that is between 250-650 words in length. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a topic and helps distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from your transcript and test scores? Preview the prompts and decide which option allows you to best show the readers who you are (your personality, your passions, etc.).
2019-20 Common Application 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.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encountercan 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. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, 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.
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
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?
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.
Common App Requirements Grid 2018-19
The requirements grid might change from year to year, and will be updated in August of each year. If you are planning for next school year, simply use this as a reference.