Updated August 18, 2016
Most college essay prompts, including Common Application supplemental essays and Coalition Application (CAAS) supplemental essays are available. We have pulled prompts for over 65 universities, and they can be found on this page.
Remember to start early! The biggest mistake people make is waiting until the week before the deadline. Starting early will allow you to hone your writing skills and give you time to make mistakes. Find a few trusted people that know you well and will provide you honest feedback. You may go through many drafts and multiple ideas and that’s completely fine. By starting early and giving yourself time you will have the opportunity to write essays that reflect the best you. The important thing is to express who you are – and what matters to you. You can use IvyAchievement’s free essay review service to get a free review to make sure you’re on the right track!
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.
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
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 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. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged?
How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
Please write an essay (650 words or fewer) that demonstrates your ability to develop and communicate your thoughts. Some ideas include: a person you admire; a life changing experience; or your viewpoint on a particular current event. Please attach your response to the end of your application.
Optional: You may provide your selected college(s) with a link to
any online content you feel:
1. Tells the college more about yourself
2. Demonstrates a particular talent you possess
3. Highlights an activity in which you participated
Some ideas include linking to an online video you created, a portfolio (pictures or photographs), a musical composition, or a newspaper article.