2023-2024 Common App Essay Prompts
We are pleased to announce that the Common App essay prompts will remain the same for 2023-2024.
It’s not just for the sake of consistency that we have chosen to keep the essay prompts the same for the upcoming application year. Our past research has shown that overall satisfaction with the prompts exceeded 95% across our constituent groups - students, counselors, advisors, teachers, and member colleges. Moving forward, we want to learn more about who is choosing certain prompts to see if there are any noteworthy differences among student populations.
We know some schools are beginning to have conversations with juniors and transfer students about their college options. As we’ve always said, this is not a call for students to begin writing. We hope that by sharing the prompts now, students will have the time they need to reflect on their own personal stories and begin thinking about what they want to share with colleges. As you assist students with their planning, feel free to share our Common App Ready resource on approaching the essay (in English and Spanish). You can also visit our YouTube channel to view our breakdown of all 7 Common App essay prompts.
"Moving forward, we want to learn more about who is choosing certain prompts to see if there are any noteworthy differences among student populations."
Students who are ready to start exploring the application can create their Common App account prior to August 1. With account rollover, we will retain any responses to questions on the Common App tab, including the personal essay.
Below is the full set of essay prompts for 2023-2024.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
We will retain the optional community disruption question within the Writing section. Additionally, we are closely following the Supreme Court case on the use of race in admissions. Depending on the outcome, we stand ready to create resources that will help students speak about their lived experiences.