Common App Essay Topic

Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.

The Insider: College Admissions Advice from the Experts is where College Coach experts weigh in on the latest college admissions topics.

The essay length limit stands at 650 words (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the seven options below.

The essay prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection.

Second most popular was Option #5 (discuss an accomplishment) with 23.7% of applicants.

In third place was Option #2 on a setback or failure. Always keep in mind why colleges are asking for an essay: they want to get to know you better.

With the inclusion of the popular "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office.

The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event.

For some students, however, the essay prompts themselves can provide a great source of inspiration.

If you’re looking for little nudge in the right direction, take our college essay quiz below.

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