Common Application Prompts to Change for Fall 2022 Admissions

A new 650 word Common Application (bolded in the list below) essay prompt is being added for Fall 2022 admissions, as a replacement for one prompt being “retired”. 

Regardless of any prompt chosen, I recommend to avoid approaching the college essay as yet another school assignment, where students try to write and edit simultaneously, crafting one maybe two drafts and exactly to the word count, yet broadly to the prompt before submitting. 

Instead, college applicants should write the autobiographical story they most want to share with admissions officers. Then, consider which essay prompt most likely frames the story that most honestly depicts their actual life experience. 

A final warning: by writing what you believe the admissions officers want to hear, instead of what you know and trust to be true of your own experience, applicants may unwittingly or otherwise contort their experience to fit a narrative. Thus, they may diminish the authenticity of their story, essentially not providing as much insight as possible from which the admissions officers can understand the totality of their experience to complete an informed evaluation about their admissions. 

The full set of Fall 2022 Common Application Essay Prompts are: 

  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?
  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.

In the midst of our 18th year helping applicants craft their essential autobiography throughout the US, contact Creative Marbles Consultancy’s experts about making the most valuable investment in a college education.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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