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Common App Example Essays 2013 Nba

We are pleased to share the 2015-2016 Essay Prompts with you.

  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 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?

  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

  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 or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

The changes you see reflect the feedback and consensus of nearly 6000 individuals who responded to our recent survey. Among the survey highlights:

•  197 individual Member responses representing 110 Member institutions

•  5667 constituent responses (64% school counselors; 14% students; 11% independent educational consultants; 4% parents; 2% community based organizations; remainder = other)

•  82% of Members and 90% of constituents agree or strongly agree that the current prompts generate effective essays on the whole

•  62% of Members and 48% of constituents believe the “story/background” prompt is the most effective

•  76% of Members and 44% of constituents would like to see the “place where you’re content” prompt replaced

•  35% of Members and 30% of constituents feel that analytical ability and intellectual curiosity (as a combined percentage) are most the difficult attributes to convey through the current prompts

•  85% of Members and 82% of constituents feel the prompts should be left open to broad interpretation

•  3% of Member respondents suggested Topic of Your Choice as a new prompt

•  6% of constituent respondents suggested Topic of Your Choice as a new prompt, with the breakdown as follows: independent educational consultants (47%), community-based organizations (7%), school counselors (5%), parents (2%), other (2%), students (<1%)

In the late 1800s, elite colleges admitted students from private schools based on entrance exams in Latin and Greek. State schools let in almost everyone who graduated from high schools certified by the universities’ professors. It wasn’t until private colleges opened their admissions to public school students that anyone saw the need for an application. There were more students than the schools could serve, and administrators noted with dismay that selecting based on academic merit alone dangerously increased the percentage of Jewish students.

In 1919, unveiled the first modern college application. The eight-page form requested, among other things, a photograph, “religious affiliation,” and “mother’s maiden name in full.” , and created their own forms, as Jerome Karabel details in his book requesting photographs and instituting personal interviews. As one admiring Harvard board member put it, there was “consequently no Jew question at Princeton.”

The “character”-based application spread from the Northeast across the country. It eventually evolved into what became known as the Common Application, which began in 1975 and currently serves 517 colleges. Where the application was initially devised to exclude, it now serves to include. Schools, not just applicants, want to be “well rounded.” The Common Application gives students the option of including religious preference and race (“please indicate how you identify yourself”).

There have, however, been drawbacks to relying on a single form. This year, the Common App came under fire for the glitches in its new online system: credit cards or essays weren’t accepted; information had to be entered two or three times. Colleges were forced to extend their early-decision deadlines, and some reverted to paper applications. The Common App officials got almost as much flak for changing the essay question: “We got some criticism when we said we were going to get rid of ‘topic of your choice,’ ” says Scott Anderson, director of policy for the Common Application, but it’s “so open-ended that unless students are very skilled writers, they’re hindered by the lack of focus.”

Many schools continue to require supplementary material. Columbia: “List the publications you read regularly, including print and electronic sources.” The at : “What do you hope to find over the rainbow?” That’s because applications don’t just filter students — they’re meant to attract them too. As the ’s website proclaims, “U. ’s provocative essay questions are almost as well known as our Nobel laureates — and at least as entertaining.”


Lee Bierer is an independent college counselor in North Carolina.

What do most applicants tend to have trouble with? The biggest area is the essay brainstorming. Most of them have not been taught to write using “I.” And if you look at the Common App essay- prompts this year, that’s what they’re all about: where students have come from, what’s unique about them.

Why do parents seek you out? A lot of parents want peace in the home. Parents always say: “If I had asked them to do that, they never would have done it!”

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