The Common Application Announces 2016-2017 Essay Prompts

Jan 28, 2016  – The Common Application Announces 2016-2017 Essay Prompts

The Common Application Announces 2016-2017 Essay Prompts


The Common Application has announced that the 2016-2017 personal statement essay prompts will be the same as the 2015-2016 prompts. By conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as students, parents, and counselors, about the effectiveness of the essay prompts.

These prompts are designed to elicit information that will strengthen the other components of the application. “We want to make sure that every applicant can find a home within the essay prompts, and that they can use the prompts as a starting point to write an essay that is authentic and distinguishing,” said Scott Anderson, former school counselor and current Senior Director for Programs and Partnerships for The Common Application.

Among the more than 800,000 unique applicants who have submitted a Common App so far during the 2015-2016 application cycle, 47 percent have chosen to write about their background, identity, interest, or talent – making it the most frequently selected prompt; 22 percent have chosen to write about an accomplishment, 17 percent about a lesson or failure, 10 percent about a problem solved, and four percent about an idea challenged.

With the release of the essay prompts and the announcement that student accounts created now will roll over to 2016-2017, counselors can introduce their juniors to the Common App now, or whenever they are ready.

2016-2017 Essay Prompts 
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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?


4. 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.


5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.


I’ve always encouraged my juniors to start developing their Common Application draft in late spring by experimenting with different question options, hoping to find a “good fit.”  The Common Application is one of several forms used for admission to your desired college(s).  It is the most popular because several hundred colleges accept it; some require it (exclusively use CA). Other options are The Universal College Application, HBCU’s Common Black College Application, and some colleges have a “personal application.”  A few colleges accept both CA and UCA; however, you can only submit one (CA or UCA) for admission.

Educational Consultant, Start Early: College & Career Planning Service


Montana Tech’s 2016 Newsletter

Photo It is always my pleasure to send Montana Tech’s annual newsletter. It’s a great opportunity to talk about why I am so proud to represent Montana Tech.

Montana Tech’s 3,000 students receive practical training in some of the most sought after Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in the world, which is one of the reasons why our graduates have enjoyed career placement rates of 90 percent or better for over a decade!

From the open skies to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Montana’s most valuable treasures don’t require a big budget to enjoy, and neither does its education. U.S. News ranked Montana Tech as the No. 5 Top Regional College in the West and No. 1 for the Top Public Regional College in the West (2015). Pay Scale’s Social Mobility ranking system landed Tech in the No. 1 spot for advancing low-income students through graduation and into high paying careers (2014).

Montana Tech is proud of the education we provide and the Return on Investment (ROI) our hard-working graduates receive after earning some of the most demanded STEM degrees in the country.

Stephanie Crowe
Director of Recruiting

MINES – Summer Camp for Young Women

Montana Tech is excited to offer MINES (Making Innovations in Engineering and Sciences) – Summer Camp for Young Women. This will be the third year for MINES, and it continues to attract bright young women from across the country. This camp is offered to rising sophomores and juniors from June 19 to June 24, 2015 and will take place on the Montana Tech campus.

Focusing on mentorship, participants will be introduced to many professional women who will lead interactive sessions in STEM field exercises. Participants will not only meet professional women in STEM careers, but they will also meet other young women who are interested in science and math. Participants will experience life on a real college campus all while enjoying the outdoor amenities the Big Sky State offers. Last year, some of the academic activities included programming robots, using math and physics to assemble and launch a rocket, mapping the spread of a disease, and exploring an underground mine. The participants also enjoyed a trip through Yellowstone National Park, soaking in natural hot springs, and a marshmallow roast under the stars.

MINES is limited to 30 young women and is expected to fill. The application deadline is April 15, 2016. Learn more at


Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineering Program is Top Notch

Did you know Montana Tech has the longest running, continuously ABET-accredited program in the country?

The Montana Tech Environmental Engineering program is also a uniquely independent program. There are only a handful of Environmental Engineering Programs in the country that are independent of other disciplines, and Montana Tech’s curriculum is intensive and focused. Our students tend to focus on water, but the program also has a very strong background in pollution control. The Environmental Engineering program earns many awards for its efforts in sustainability, restoration, and nanotechnology.

Environmental Engineering students can also earn a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in only five years! Montana Tech Environmental Engineering graduates enjoy a 100 percent career placement rate with starting annual salaries generally ranging from $65,000 to $75,000.

Check out all of Montana Tech’s programs at A Montana Tech representative can also be reached by emailing or by calling 1-800-445-TECH if you have any questions.

Hampshire College (MA): Winter 2016 Updates

Kern Center

‘The Greenest College in the World’

“This Just Might Be The Greenest College in the World” was the headline last month from environmental news site about our sustainability efforts. Hampshire has received national coverage around the bold steps we are taking to reduce emissions, build a net-zero living building, and solar-power the whole campus.



A new Hampshire Hackathon event extends to those interested in art, design, fabrication and more from across the Five Colleges.

Robin Coste Lewis

Hampshire alum and former faculty member Robin Coste Lewis has won the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry.

For her Division III project, Mimi Alkattan performed research around drinking-water resources in developed and developing countries.

Student Yasmine El Baggari is leading a team of half a dozen technology entrepreneurs in developing her online platform, branded Voyaj.

Michael Klare

Professor Michael Klare explores prospects for war and peace in climate change era.

Lupita Nyongo

Theatre students and faculty recently traveled to NYC to see alum and Academy-Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o perform off-Broadway in Eclipsed, set to debut on Broadway in February.

Hampshire Summer Programs are rigorous, hands-on, and driven by you. Challenge yourself this summer, build your portfolio and resume, follow the questions that drive you.

Pre-college programs in Creative Media Viewfinders * Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, and Beyond * Young Feminist Collaborative * Art and the Internet * Micro-Controllers and Hardware Design * Gene Cloning

Immerse yourself at Hampshire.


This electronic newsletter is designed to inform friends of Hampshire College about news stories involving Hampshire, and about the work and accomplishments of members of the College community. Media releases and announcements are regularly posted on Hampshire’s website.

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COPYRIGHT © 2016, Hampshire College
893 West Street | Amherst | MA

UC Berkeley Summer Programs in Environmental Design: Accepting Applications!

College of Environmental Design
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Greetings from UC Berkeley!

I’m contacting you to let you know about three intensive summer programs offered by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that are ideally structured for students looking to prepare for college and for currently enrolled students to explore their academic options.

Each of these programs offers a broad introduction to a different area within Environmental Design: Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, and City & Regional Planning.

A brief summary of each program with a link to its website follows below. I’m hoping you can help me spread the word about these dynamic programs! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can elaborate further on any aspect of our Summer Programs.

Thanks and best,

Chrissie Bradley
Summer Programs Manager
College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley

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embARC Summer Design Academy

JULY 5 – 29, 2016

embARC is a four week summer design intensive that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning. Previous coursework in environmental design is not required.


  • Allows students to explore architecture, urban design and city planning as possible college majors and careers
  • Immerses students in design studio culture and the college campus experience
  • Provides a team environment among peers who have similar interests
  • Builds a design portfolio to use when applying to college
  • Offers college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript


Disc*2016: Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities


For currently enrolled college students from any major interested in an interdisciplinary approach to urban design, city planning, architecture, environmental planning, landscape architecture and design thinking. Previous coursework in environmental design is not required.

  • Exposes students to the current challenges of global urbanization
  • Empowers students with the tools and expertise necessary to craft innovative design-based solutions for the urban environment
  • Develops skills with cutting edge fabrication, visualization, mapping and other design technologies
  • Introduces students to like-minded peers and professionals who will become part of a lasting network
  • Offers college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript

SUMMER [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design


For college seniors or post-baccalaureates considering graduate school in architecture, city planning or landscape design and environmental planning. Previous coursework in environmental design is not required.


  • Exposes participants to the methods and theories of graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture and city planning
  • Allows participants to experience the rigorous and rewarding culture of design and planning studios
  • Connects participants to top faculty and practitioners
  • Introduces the analog and digital skills necessary to build a polished portfolio for graduate program applications
  • Offers college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript

Two Great Scholarship Opportunities from Roger Williams University (RI)

Roger Williams University

Hello from Roger Williams University!

We’re writing today about two exciting scholarship opportunities at Roger Williams University:

The Intercultural Leadership Ambassadors Program & Scholarship (ILAPS) rewards students who have shown academic achievement, life perseverance and an aptitude for leadership in contributing to an inclusive community. This full-tuition scholarship is awarded for four years of consecutive undergraduate study. Students interested in applying must have overcome a life challenge and either be a first generation college student, have English as a second language or come from an underrepresented population.


The Rhode Island Community Ambassador Program & Scholarship (RICAPS) celebrates and recognizes students who have both demonstrated academic achievement and positively impacted their Rhode Island community through their engagement and contributions. In addition to participating in the University’s Intercultural Leadership Ambassador Program, RICAPS students will meet each semester with the program mentor to create and implement an annual program that positively contributes to the state’s community. This scholarship is awarded for four years of consecutive undergraduate study, and ranges from full tuition to $40,000 annually.


We encourage you to share these opportunities with any students who may be interested or who you believe would fit the criteria. Please have the students return their completed application to the Office of Admission by February 1. 


If you have any questions feel free to give us a call anytime!


Shamika Cameron
Director of Undergraduate Admission Recruitment
Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University

California College of the Arts: Pre-College Summer 2016

For more than 25 years, CCA’s Pre-College Program has been an inspiring opportunity for high school students to study art, architecture, design, or creative writing in an art school setting while earning 3 units of college credit.

Students are immersed in a college-level curriculum and become part of a creative community, meeting and working with other talented, serious students from diverse backgrounds. Pre-College provides a perfect platform to expand their knowledge, grow as individuals, develop strong portfolio pieces, and get a taste of college life.

The program is designed for students who will have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school by summer 2016. Students must be at least 15 years old by June 2016, and no older than 18.

The San Francisco Bay Area is defined by entrepreneurship, sustainability, and social activism well as design and technology. Innovation and creativity permeate all aspects of daily life here.

Throughout the program, Pre-College students have opportunities to explore the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich culture and geography.

Pre-college students find CCA’s beautiful and historic Oakland campus an inspiring environment for their summer art experience. The campus stretches over four acres of landscaped grounds and is surrounded by a charming residential neighborhood.

College Avenue, a two-mile stretch of cafes, independent bookstores, boutiques, and restaurants, runs between CCA and the University of California at Berkeley.

Pre-College courses are designed to challenge students at all levels of artistic experience. Participants may choose to try something new or explore in greater depth a discipline in which they are already interested.

Choose from 18 offered courses in fine art, design, writing, and architecture. Various special activities supplement and enrich the coursework and are available to both resident and commuter students.

The Pre-College faculty members are dedicated and highly accomplished artists, architects, designers, and writers who are interested in sharing their professional insights and experiences. The majority of them also teach in CCA’s undergraduate degree programs.

CCA offers optional on-campus housing staffed and supervised by a director, assistant director, resident advisers, and two graduate interns.

The director and assistant director are professional live-in staff members who oversee all aspects of residential life.

2016 Pre-College Program:
4 Weeks / June 27–July 22

Scholarship application deadline:
March 14

CCA awards more than $100,000 in both merit and need-based scholarships. Our highly competitive merit awards are based on a student’s academic achievement, creative ability, and scholarship essay. Need-based scholarships are available to those with documented financial need.

We encourage all applicants to apply online. A complete application contains the following requirements:

• Application ($35 nonrefundable application fee)
• Tuition deposit ($200 nonrefundable)
• Official high school transcripts
• Housing deposit ($100 nonrefundable)
      Only for students interested in on-campus housing

Scholarship applicants and international applicants have additional requirements.

Cheena Marie Lo, Pre-College Coordinator, is available to help students and their families through the admissions process.

Cheena Marie Lo

Flip through our brochure »

Watch a short video about Pre-College »

Connect with us!   

January Georgia Tech Minute

Early Action Profile
Our Early Action admit rate was approximately 30 percent, down from 45 percent in Early Action last year. Twenty-five percent of early applicants were deferred, 40 percent were denied, and 5 percent were incomplete or canceled their application.
Admitted Averages:
SAT: 1453
ACT: 33
Number of AP/IB/DE courses: 11
 Admitted Students
Students were notified Saturday, January 23, of their President’s Scholarship semifinalist status.
All admitted students have been invited via email to apply for the Honors Program and Grand Challenges Living Learning Community.
Students can find information regarding next steps to enroll on BuzzPort and in their acceptance packet. Next steps can also be found online on this printable PDF.
 Deferred Students
Deferred students should complete the following steps by Friday, January 29, 2016:

1. Review our website.
2. Submit the Deferred Supplemental Form (DSF).
3. Submit a mid-year report including final fall grades.

Help for Deferred Students
For a student who is deferred, we want them to tell us something new. This will be in concert with their fall grades, but we’re looking for things they either left out of their original application that are relevant, or things that have occurred since they applied that they believe will be compelling to the admission committee.

Applicant Withdrawal
If a student has decided to attend another university, the student should cancel his or her application.

Rick Clark
Director of Undergraduate Admission

 Admission Explained
The Sketch Effect is a team of talented, passionate visual communicators from right here in Atlanta, Georgia.
We think their work is unique, so we enlisted them to help us visually explain the application process at Georgia Tech.
We hope students will enjoy seeing this video, which breaks down the admissions process, beginning once a student clicks submit.

Georgia Institute of Technology
Office of Undergraduate Admission
Atlanta, GA 30332-0320
ph: 404.894.4154

Colgate University (NY)

Colgate University is a highly selective liberal arts institution focused on academic excellence, research, and making a difference in the world. Colgate students take advantage of internship opportunities, career resources, and a variety of learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom to truly make their mark on campus and around the globe.

With 2,900 students and 25 Division I athletic teams, Colgate offers small classes and individual attention without sacrificing the excitement and network of a large research university.

Colgate University

Students engage with the community

Colgate students take advantage of our location in central New York. They help the community through service-learning projects which are organized through the Max Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE). They explore beautiful central New York with Outdoor Education and they contribute to the intellectual capital of the region through the Upstate Institute.

Colgate University

Students engage academically

With 54 majors and 9 additional minors, Colgate students turn their academic interests into expertise. Colgate’s interdisciplinary core curriculum challenges students to understand their ideas within a historical and global context.

It is easy to get to know professors at Colgate, where the average class size is 17 and students work one-on-one with faculty on research. Also, two-thirds of our undergrads travel the world through our extensive off-campus study opportunities.

Colgate University

Students engage with their peers

Students live and learn together in a full residential experience where housing is guaranteed for all four years. Thanks to more than 190 clubs and organizations, students have many opportunities to indulge existing passions or to step out and try something completely new. At Colgate, students hold professional roles. They manage budgets, plan and organize events, and act as an essential governing body for the school. This environment fosters both leadership and collaboration and allows students to gain lifelong skills.

Colgate students come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Seven percent of the Class of 2019 is made up of international students, and 29 percent of the class identifies as multicultural. Colgate students come from 48 states and represent 72 countries.

More about Colgate University

  • Colgate offers 21 different faculty-led off-campus study groups in locations around the world.
  • Six months after graduation, 96.8 percent of the Class of 2014 was enrolled in a graduate program, employed, or engaged in an internship or fellowship.
  • For the summer of 2015, Colgate Career Services’ ever-growing summer funding program offered an impressive total of $726,490 to support summer internships and research.

Learn more about how we prepare students for careers with our pre-professional fact sheets.

Most popular career fields of Colgate alumni (Class of 2014)
Financial services
Social change
Law/Legal Services

Top graduate schools attended by Colgate alumni
Boston University
Columbia University
Cornell University
George Washington University
Harvard University
Northwestern University
Syracuse University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rochester

Helpful Links
Virtual Tour
Campus Visit
Majors and Minors
Financial Aid
Class of 2019 Profile
Admission Officer Contact Information

Colgate University

Boston University Class of 2020

Happy New Year from Boston University Admissions! We are very excited to begin 2016 with a record-breaking 57,347 applications for admission to the BU Class of 2020. This is a 4.7% increase in applications over last year.

While we are pleased that such a large number of students are attracted to BU, we are particularly proud that the academic quality of our applicants continues to strengthen. I would like to share some additional information about our applicant pool.

  • BU received 3,421 applications for admission through ED and ED2. We expect to enroll approximately 30% of our freshman class through these binding programs.
  • Applications from underrepresented minority students increased nearly 16% over last year. Enrollment of first-generation, low-income, and URM students continues to be a priority for BU.
  • We received 12,877 applications from international students representing 153 countries.
  • BU’s enrollment target for the Class of 2020 is 3,500 students.

We encourage students to set up and check their BU Web Accounts on the Applicant Link regularly to confirm that all required credentials have been received. Admission decisions will be released on Saturday, March 19. Students will receive emails when their decisions are available.

We wish all students the best of luck with their college searches.


Kelly A. Walter
Associate Vice President & Executive Director of Admissions

233 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215 

Babson College (MA): Summer Study for High School Students

Babson Summer Study for High School Students

I am excited to share some information about a four-week program we offer to outstanding high school students here at Babson College: Summer Study for High School Students: Babson Entrepreneurial Development Experience.
This residential program, which runs from July 6 to August 3, 2016, gives students the opportunity to focus on entrepreneurial ventures that create social, economic, and environmental value. Targeted at high-achieving rising high school juniors and seniors, the program is taught by top-ranked Babson faculty in a challenging campus environment. Students can earn four college credits that they may use at Babson or wherever they attend college.

Summer Study for High School Students is a great opportunity for your students to differentiate themselves on college applications and to build their network of business leaders and industry experts, all while exploring the communities of Boston and Wellesley.


To learn more about the program, or to have students apply, please visit The application deadline is April 1, 2016.



Best wishes for a successful year ahead.




Courtney Minden

Dean, Undergraduate Admission

Babson College