Checking Out the ‘Common Application’

August 6, 2013
August 6, 2013 ACS

August 1st is the day that rising high school seniors can check out and start filling out the Common Application, which is the college application 527 colleges  utilize. More importantly, however, according to author and editor Elizabeth Benedict, students will be able to click through an individual school’s application and identify what essays may be required.

In addition, many of the colleges have revamped their supplementary questions they ask so it might be a great idea to check out the colleges on your list that require the Common Application.

Many colleges have, in fact, already posted their supplementary essay questions, which will allow you to start contemplating and pre-writing what you want to include. According to Benedict, Tufts University even made national news with its prompt, “What does YOLO (You Only Live Once…a modern version of Carpe Diem) mean to you?”

Yale has also released what it wants to know: “Reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of the applicants.”

The University of Chicago, known for its eccentric questions, asks, “Tell us your favorite joke and try to explain the joke without ruining it.”

And Boston College wants to know the following: “Tell us about a time you had all the facts, but missed the meaning” and “Tell us about something you heard or experienced for the first time and how the years since have affected your perception of that moment.”

So, what does this mean for you? You should refine and narrow down the list of colleges you are interested in and then check to see if each of those colleges uses the Common Application;  if it does, check out the essay required and start planning on how to conquer it.

If you need any help organizing, planning, and tackling the essay, please call us as we can take you through the steps needed to make your essay successful.

Just remember that not all colleges/universities are members of the Common Application. The University of California (UCLA, UCSB, UC Davis, Berkeley, etc.), MIT, and many other ‘state’ school systems have their own essay questions they will require you to answer.

Again, it is a good idea to check out each college that you are interested in to see what each one requires. If you need assistance with any of this, please give us a call and we can set up an appointment to help guide you.


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