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CEA Blog

The Short Answer

Topic: Admissions, College Admissions, Essay Tips, Essay Writing, Supplemental Essays  |  Posted on December 10th, 2016  |  Written by CEA HQ

A popular format for supplement questions is short answers. Don’t confuse these with the why, activity, community, or oddball essays. These are an entirely different beast. These little critters provide a different kind of creative challenge for aspiring college-goers. Take this set of short answer questions from the 2014 Yale application: “What excites you intellectually, […]

The Oddball Essay

Topic: College Admissions, Common App Prompts/Topics, Essay Tips, Essay Writing, Supplemental Essays  |  Posted on December 10th, 2016  |  Written by CEA HQ

There are certain schools, like the University of Chicago, who have always taken special pride in developing craft questions for their applicants to answer. In recent years, more schools are jumping on the bandwagon, luring students to their applications with questions like “What does #YOLO mean to you” (Tufts, 2013). This is both fun and […]

The Community Essay

Topic: Admissions, College Admissions, Essay Tips, Essay Writing, Supplemental Essays  |  Posted on December 10th, 2016  |  Written by CEA HQ

The community essay is a standard supplemental rascal that mines for information about your social habits and favorite causes. Prompts that ask about a “community you belong to” often leave themselves open to interpretation: Are you part of a community of sports fans around the world who can connect with other strangers over the amazing […]

The Activity Essay

Topic: Admissions, advice, College Admissions, Common Application, Essay Resources, Essay Writing, Uncategorized  |  Posted on December 10th, 2016  |  Written by CEA HQ

At one time, not so long ago, the Common App asked all applicants for a brief description of their most important extracurricular experiences. When that requirement became optional in 2013, many individual colleges took it upon themselves to issue a similar prompt as a replacement. The activity essay is an excellent opportunity to expand beyond […]

The Why Essay

Topic: Admissions, Essay Resources, Essay Writing, Uncategorized  |  Posted on December 10th, 2016  |  Written by CEA HQ

If you’re on this page, then you have probably encountered a prompt or two on your supplemental essay safari that we at College Essay Advisors call “The Why Essay”. The school you’re applying to is essentially asking: Why do you really want to go here? This shape-shifting question can come in many forms as it […]

Common Application 2013-2014 Essay Format Update: Hallelujah, We Have Paragraphs!

Topic: College Admissions, Common App Prompts/Topics, Essay Tips, Essay Writing  |  Posted on September 9th, 2013  |  Written by CEA HQ

The Common Application recently revealed a new development for their college essay formatting. Real paragraphs! Separated by actual line spaces!