Best College Application Essay Prompts

The process of gaining entry into higher education institutions includes different requirements. Still, the basic information involves the applicant’s background, grade point average, extracurricular activities, and standardized testing scores.

But merely gathering these facts is not enough to enter the college. You’ll need to complete another essential part of the college application process, which implies writing a successful admission essay. This is the type of paper that allows a college admissions committee to evaluate your personal qualities and experience, and decide if you’ll be a great fit to attend their college. Therefore, the likelihood of your studying in this or that establishment will significantly depend on the content of the admission essay.

The responsibility is enormous here, and in order not to mess up with this task, it’s important to understand the essentials of admission essay writing.

First of all, the very purpose of the college admission essay is to tell a unique story of yours – a story that goes beyond academic performance narrative. It’s all about hooking the audience with your traits, passions, interests, plans for the future, and life missions. Such an essay is intended to leave a positive imprint in the admissions officer’s mind and make them feel excited about you as a person.   

How to start a college admission essay?

Considering that college application essay is by far the most influential piece of writing in your life, you need to invest time and arm yourself with resources that’ll prepare you for crafting an interesting and praiseworthy work.

There are three ways to start a good college admission essay. They include the following points:

  • Take Your Time. Give yourself at least a week to write the essay and don’t postpone. Try to break your work into several parts and devote some time to writing your essay daily.
  • Use a Template. Templates are an excellent means of understanding what form to fill your essay with and visualizing how your ideas will be arranged on paper.
  • Think of Ideas. Reflect on experiences or turning points in your life that shaped your perception of the world. Also, you can recall some jokes or personal anecdote to dilute your story with catchy, humorous elements.

Have no idea how to call your audience’s attention to the text from the first sentence?

Then take into account some of the college admission essay hooks examples:

  • It was Christmas of 1995 when my parents taught me a valuable lesson: always expect the unexpected.
  • On a hot Hollywood evening, I sat on a bike, sweltering in a winter coat and furry boots.
  • While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe?
  • What my mother didn’t know was that it was not in spite of, but rather because of, my tendency to push the boundaries that I was confident in my ability to succeed.
  • I feel as much of a stud as… I can’t come up with a metaphor. That’s how lacking in studliness I am.

What makes all these hooks stand out is the element of curiosity that forces readers to wonder how the entire story unfolds.

Okay, the starting point is clear. But what about the writing process itself? How to arrange a massive swirl of ideas on a paper to make it look appealing and easily digestible? The answer is – pay attention to the structure. Without it, even the most remarkable topics and perfect grammar will not save the day.     

How do you structure a college app?

Here are examples of a proper college admission essay format to consider before crafting your piece.

  • Start From an Outline. Write down a general description or plan that boils down the main ideas to short statements but doesn’t explain them. Such a sketch will help you plan memorable college application essays in advance, allowing to ensure the logical flow of paragraphs and transitions.
  • Develop an Intro. The introduction is the “cover of a book” – the most noticeable element of an essay. Its key role is to catch readers’ attention and involve them in the story. Successful personal essay examples show that the introduction should contain exciting facts, questions or anecdotes that’ll spark that engagement.
  • Compose a Body. This is the central part in which you need to explain each thesis, give examples and reflect on life experiences. At this point, each paragraph should focus on a particular idea and be organized appropriately.
  • Wrap it Up. The conclusion of your essay can be versatile depending on what you write about. For example, you can include an ending to the action or life event, or describe your future self. Also, you might want to reflect on your experiences and write some thoughts about them.          

Apart from knowing how to structure your college admission essay, it might be useful to take into account some of the common app questions which the admissions officer ask most frequently. College application essay prompts can help you understand what to expect from the committee and get prepared for answering their questions. The list of common app prompts includes the following:

  • Write about what you love to do
  • Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea.
  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice.

How to choose the best college admission essay topic?

There’s nothing worse than boring and trivial topics revolving around your college application essay. So here’s the advice: go against the grain and don’t be afraid to get your creative juices flowing. If there’s the moment you thought of but figured it would be awkward to write about, don’t throw this idea away. Maybe that’s just the right solution for you.

Think of some meaningful or extraordinary events that turned your life upside down and keep writing them. Stay honest, and if you have a misfortunate story to tell, share it too. This will increase the level of readers’ liking for your personality.  

What should you not include in a personal essay?

Just like there are basic requirements for creating a great application, there are likewise some college application essay topics to avoid. Specifically, such sensitive and intimate moments as sex life, love, illness details, crime, religion, and politics are a no-no when writing any college application essay. Also, best college admission essays should by no means cover stories that are not true to life or speak about yourself in an exaggerated tone. And finally, avoid pretending that your personality traits are flawless. This topic will look hardly plausible and too good to be true in the eyes of the admissions officer.

How to make your college application memorable?

At first, describe yourself in an essay and be the main hero of your story, actively reflecting on the experiences you describe. The committee will also die to know how you will contribute to the university. Therefore, don’t forget to accentuate at this moment as well. Ultimately, think of the activities to put on your personal essay. A common application usually includes extracurricular activities, self-taught language courses, volunteering, your projects, training or hobbies.   

College Application Essays Examples

By the way, you can find some college admission essay examples on our website. These essays that worked helped dozens of students enter colleges of their dreams. Now, they study in some of the most prestigious educational institutions and reach new academic heights on a daily basis.