A. What are the college essay application prompts?

Here are the choices of prompts for your essay topic:

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.”

B. What’s the maximum word count for my essay?

You have a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 650 words. If you go over the limit, the software will not allow you to submit the essay electronically. That’s why it’s a good idea to write several drafts and fine-tune each one over the course of the summer as you head into senior year.

C. When is the best time to write my essay?

The best time to write your essay is in June as soon as school ends for the year. You will give yourself the time needed to revise drafts and refine your story. When school starts in August or September it will be one less thing to worry about during an extremely busy period.

D. What are college admissions officers looking for?

A college admission officer wants to know what you can bring to the table if you attend his or her college. He wants to know what life experiences you have had and how they have helped you grow emotionally. That’s why it’s not always necessary to write about your successes. Sometimes writing about a failure or a difficult period in life and telling how you dealt with it, provides insight into your maturation. Honesty, truth, reality — these matter to an admissions officer and to anyone who wants to know the essence of whom you are. Don’t be afraid to venture there.