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February 8, 2013

New Common App Essays

This morning, The Common Application released new essay prompts for the 2013-2014 application cycle. The updated prompts are versatile and thought-provoking, providing students with a starting point for further introspection and insight. Thoughtfully crafted by a team of high school counselors, admissions officers, and members of The Common Application Board and staff, the new essay prompts represent an exciting change to The Common Application. You can explore the questions below:

• Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their
application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons
did you learn?

• 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 place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience
there, and why is it meaningful to you?

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

You can review Page 217 essay tips in previous articles: Navigating the College Supplement, The Penn Supplement: Part I, and The Penn Supplement: Part II.

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