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Crush Your Common App Personal Statement

The Common App has announced that the essay prompts for the Class of 2024 will remain the same as last year (see below for the list of prompts). Now that the prompts have been released, the Class of 2024 can officially begin their essay brainstorming and prepare to apply to college.

While the application doesn't open for submission until August 1, juniors can go ahead and set up their Common App account and enter all of their data into the form. The Common App closes for maintenance at the end of July, but don't fret - all of the information you input now will transfer over when the site reopens on August 1. For information on completing the Common App refer to our post from July 2021 which includes tips and tools to help you as you complete your college applications.

Katie has some tips below for you as you begin writing your personal statement.

Katie's Tips for Writing Your Common App Essay

  1. The best way to start is to start writing! Just getting some of your thoughts and experiences on paper will help generate ideas for topics.

  2. Do not write to a prompt. As in, "A time that I faced a challenge was....." is not the best way to start the essay. Write the personal statement first, and it will fit a prompt in the end.

  3. Give yourself time for a number of drafts and revisions. Your essay is a work in progress.

  4. Be cautious about having too many people give their opinions on your essay, as more is not always better. This is your essay and should be authentic to both you and your own unique voice.

  5. It doesn't have to be a monumental circumstance or experience that you overcame. Some of the best essays are derived from the most basic moment in time. The most important part is helping the reader learn something about you that can't be conveyed through your grades or test scores. What makes you YOU?

Common App Prompts for The Class of 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.

  2. 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?

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

  4. 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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

* Common App will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.


Garrett Educational Consulting provides comprehensive support for boarding school and college applications. Click HERE to learn more about our services.


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