Juniors: Common App Prompts 2022-23 are out!

Juniors: Common App Prompts 2022-23 are out!

In the fall, most of our rising seniors will apply to private, SUNY, or some out-of-state public universities through The Common Application.  

The essay prompts for the 2022-2023 Common App are currently available; it is a great idea to choose a prompt and prepare a rough draft over the course of the summer.  You'll have more time to think about your topic and sit down to write, which will make your life much easier once you return to school in the fall.  However…

DO NOT SUBMIT APPLICATIONS TO COLLEGE THIS SUMMER!  You can create your Common App account, work on your essay, add some of your favorite colleges to the “My Colleges” tab in your Common App, look at or start to prepare some supplemental college essays, but DO NOT click on that submit tab!  We’ll cover the application process in detail as soon as we get back to school in September.

Your essay must eventually fall somewhere between 250-650 words.  You will very likely end up using this essay for other college or scholarship applications as well, as those essay prompts are often similar, or, will allow for a topic of choice.

Please remember that no one prompt is better than another. Choose the prompt that is most compelling to you, the one that will allow you to write about something truly meaningful to you. Don't concern yourself with what your friends choose to write about, or what you think college admissions officers want to hear.  Whatever topic you choose, it should be an authentic expression of yourself and serve to help admissions officers to get a much better sense of who you are as a person.  That's really what they're looking for.  

College specific supplemental essay or short answer questions should be available when the updated Common App officially launches for rising seniors in early August. Once you add a college to your “My Colleges” list, you should be able to access any supplemental writing requirements.  Remember that these are often seen as more important than your general personal statement, as these questions are not only designed to learn more about you, but how much of a fit you might be for a particular institution.  Familiarizing yourself with the college through their website (mission statement, online tours/info sessions/ etc.), by connecting with current students, and/ or through guides like the Fiske Guide to Colleges, will prove really helpful in crafting effective supplements.

Many students may be wondering whether or not they should write about the pandemic’s impact on their lives.  That really depends upon the student in question. Know that the Common App (and Coalition) will continue include a COVID question in the Additional Information section where you can address how the pandemic affected you and your family specifically if you feel the need to do so.  Remember, though, that this COVID question is NOT intended to be an obligatory extra essay, and not everyone should feel compelled to use it. 

See the attachment for some very useful essay tips, which come from professional development workshops we’ve attended over the years about the essay and were conducted by admissions officers from Yale, U.Michigan, and Smith.

You can also read sample essays from real students via the links below:





Lastly, a number of colleges and universities have been running free virtual admissions workshops & webinars about a host of topics like the college search, financial aid, interviewing, and of course, the college essay.  Check out the links below and revisit them in the coming weeks if you’d like to attend a college essay (or any other) workshop:

Johns Hopkins U.

U. Rochester


DePaul University is even offering free essay editing via the peer-editors working in their writing center.

Your college counselor and senior English teacher will gladly provide feedback on your essay draft when you return in September.  Make sure you have a draft ready for us by then.  

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the end of the school year and the summer!