Make the most of your essays in the college application. Learn about the full set of essay prompts for 2023-2024. 


When applying to colleges in the United States, crafting thoughtful and compelling essays is a crucial part of the process. Two common application platforms, the Common Application (Common App) and the Coalition Application (Coalition App), each have their own set of essay prompts. In this guide, we'll explore how to approach these essay prompts effectively and offer tips to help you make the most of your application essays, whether you choose the Common App or the Coalition App.


Understanding the Essay Prompts


Both the Common App and the Coalition App include essay prompts that aim to get to know you better as an applicant. Understanding the prompts is the first step in crafting a strong essay. Here's how to approach them:


Common App Essay Prompts (2023-2024):


  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.


  1. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


  1. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?


  1. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?


  1. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


  1. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?


  1. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.


Coalition App Essay Prompts (2023-2024):


  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.


  1. What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?


  1. Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?


  1. Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?


  1. What success have you achieved or obstacle have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?


  1. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.




The essay is your opportunity to share your unique story and perspective with colleges


Identifying Your Unique Story


No matter which application platform you choose, the goal of your essay is to share a unique aspect of your life, experiences, or perspective. Here's how to approach this:


Reflect: Spend time reflecting on your life, experiences, and values. Think about moments of growth, challenge, or realization that have had a significant impact on you.


Be authentic: Your essay should authentically represent you. Avoid trying to write what you think admissions committees want to hear; instead, focus on what genuinely matters to you.


Choose your angle: Once you've identified a topic, consider the angle you want to take. How can you tell your story in a way that is engaging and meaningful?


Writing Your Essay


Now that you have a clear understanding of the prompt and your unique story, it's time to start writing. Here are some tips to help you write an effective essay:


- Choose a topic that matters to you: Select a prompt and topic that genuinely resonates with you. Your passion and authenticity will shine through in your writing.


- Create an Outline: Outline your essay to organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow.


- Show, don't Tell: Use descriptive language and anecdotes to illustrate your points.


- Stay focused: Keep your essay focused on your chosen topic. Avoid going off on tangents.


- Edit and Revise: After writing your first draft, take the time to revise and edit your essay for clarity, conciseness, and grammar.


[Read more: Refine Your Personal Essay With 7 Questions

Do's & Don'ts when using grammar in Essay writing]


- Stay within word limits: Both platforms have word limits for their essays. Make sure you will follow the instructions.


[Read more: How to Write a Great Personal Statement

How to write the “WHY” essay without knowing everything]


If you're applying to colleges using both the Common App and the Coalition App, you can use the same essay for both platforms if it addresses one of the essay prompts. However, if you want to use a different essay for each platform, consider how the essay aligns with the platform's values and mission.


Whether you're using the Common App or the Coalition App, the essay is your opportunity to share your unique story and perspective with colleges. Approach the prompts thoughtfully, write with authenticity, and use your essay as a powerful tool to showcase who you are as an applicant. If you're in need of some motivation and strategy to craft compelling essays, we can help. Book a consultation with us today! 

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