Write That College Essay Now!

A strange thing happened to me last night. I had started a post about dealing this summer with one of the real pains of the college application process – the college essay. But then I got distracted and walked out of my office.

I wandered out to the patio to talk to my son’s girlfriend about what she was doing this summer. Julia had been taking a Spanish course at a community college, but the rising high school senior dropped the class because it was too advanced. She was now filling her time babysitting and then she mentioned that she was spending time writing her college essay.

What a coincidence! As we chatted, we both agreed that tackling the college essay in the summer is better than waiting until fall when high school seniors are deluged with work and application deadlines. When I looked to see if this conversation was having any impact on my son Ben, he pretended to ignore us.

Time will tell if Ben will follow Julia’s lead, but for those who want a head start, the most popular college essay topics are just a mouse click away. Many schools that require essays – these are mostly private colleges — use the Common Application, which contains five essay topics.

Pick a college essay topic from below and get started:

1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

3. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

4. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

5. Topic of your choice.

Learn more about preparing for college by reading The College Solution and visiting my other college blog at CBSMoneyWatch.com. Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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