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Common App Essay 2021-2022

Remember this question on the Common App? “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 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.”

This question was a BOON for high school students seeking to showcase their research experience in math, computer science, or another STEM-related field.

But guess what? That prompt is OUT. The new prompt 4 captures perfectly the zeitgeist of the pandemic, which espouses the importance of showing kindness and appreciation:

“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?”

(Interestingly, the Coalition App has a very similar prompt: “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.”)
For tips on how to approach this type of prompt, check here to find out.