Next week is spring break for many students. Those looking for something to do might consider reviewing the Common App and Coalition App essay prompts, since next year’s are already available. Those for whom college is a few years out may also find it helpful to look now, for a couple of reasons:

  • Thinking about essays now may give you a lens through which to consider activities or incidents that come up during your high school year and to start establishing a narrative from them.
  • Reviewing previous years’ prompts shows that they don’t change significantly from year to year, especially since the last prompt for each is “a topic of your choice.”

Something else to think about: The Coalition App essay is 500-550 words; the Common App is up to 650. Students who need to use both applications should prepare themselves that the differences in length are likely to require them to write two different essays, even if they’re writing on the same topic.