The Common Application 
www.commonapp.org 

A platform that provides a standard application and college admission resources for nearly 900 colleges and universities, including Georgia Institute of  Technology, University of Georgia, Georgia College and Georgia State University.

Common Application
Personal Statement Prompts
2020-21

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

 

  • 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.

 

  • 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?

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

Special COVID-19 Optional Prompt for 2020-2021

Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces.

  • Do you wish to share anything on this topic? Y/N

  • Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you.

 

This question will be optional and will appear in the Additional Information section of the application. The response length will be limited to 250 words. The question will be accompanied by a more detailed FAQ to help students consider the kinds of impacts they may wish to report, including illness and loss, housing and employment disruptions, and shifting family obligations.

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