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Juniors, here are your college essay topics

If you’re a parent with a child applying to college next year, you’ll likely become familiar with the Common Application (Common App), an online application used by over 500 colleges and universities in the country. The Common App will become available on August 1, 2015 for those students seeking college enrollment in the fall of 2016. You can read more details about the Common App in our Word of the Day Wednesday post here.

Any student applying to a college or university that uses the Common App will be required to submit an essay answering one of the five Common App essay prompts. Essays must be no longer than 650 words. Students can get a head start on their college essay by reviewing the essay prompts now and beginning to brainstorm and draft potential responses over the summer. The 2015-16 essay prompts are as follows (and also posted on the Common App site here):

  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.

As your family moves through the college application process, stay in step in MEFA. We have seminars, webinars, and an entire section of our website with videos, timelines, and helpful links focused on applying to college. Find everything you need on here, and if you have questions, reach out to us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or

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