A Publication of the Counseling Department at Monson High School Just for Seniors
Common App Essay Prompts for 2021-2022
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.
Share your story. Answer this prompt by reflecting on a hobby, facet of your personality, or experience that is genuinely meaningful and unique to you. Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school résumé and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application.
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?
Learning from obstacles. Overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance. That’s why the last piece of this prompt is essential. The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result.
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Challenging a belief. Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged. Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific!—experience to recount (and reflect on). A vague essay about a hot button issue doesn’t tell the admissions committee anything useful about YOU.
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?
Retrospective Gratitude. Was there a time when someone did something unexpected for you that impacted your life in a major way? How has gratitude impacted your future aspects, goals and dreams?
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Personal growth. Just like Prompt #2, the accomplishment or event you write about can be anything from a major milestone to a smaller "aha" moment. Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed.
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?
Passion. What floats your boat? Do you have an appetite for knowledge about something specific? Or, as we asked in the breakdown for Prompt #1: what do you love, and why do you love it? How do you typically seek to enrich your knowledge when something appeals to you? Do you have a favorite corner of the library (or internet)? A mentor who is open to answering your burning questions?
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.
Open Ended. This question might be for you if you have a dynamo personal essay from English class to share or were really inspired by a question from another college’s application. You can even write your own question that you wish they would have asked you. Show the admissions committee who you are beyond grades and test scores and dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why.
More resources and information posted in the Class of 2022 Counseling Google Classroom and College Essay Writing Workshop offered after school on Thursday, October 7th at 2:15 p.m. in the MHS Library.
2021 NEACAC Fall College Fair
Schedule & Information
Questions about financial aid?
The trusted experts at MEFA are hosting FREE college financing webinars once per week beginning Tuesday, Sept 21st through Thursday, Nov 18th. Webinars will occur during both daytime and evening hours, and feature industry experts, both from within MEFA and from colleges and organizations across Massachusetts. Register for a webinar at https://www.mefa.org/events/category/college-financing
2021 FAFSA Festival:
A one-day, drop-in, virtual event taking place on Monday, October 18th and Tuesday, October 19th from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Register here.
Find out more information about Financial Aid and applying through FAFSA here:
October Scholarship Listing
2020 Future Leaders Scholarship October 14, 2021
The Future Leaders Scholarship will award six (6) $1,000 in scholarships to students who excel in academics, community service, and athletics. The selection process will begin with a review of each student's application, written recommendations, and transcripts. A number of students will then be selected for virtual interviews which will be conducted the week of November 9. At the conclusion of interviews, six statewide scholarship winners will be announced. For more information please visit: https://www.baystategames.org/future-leaders-scholarship
Coca Cola Scholars Program Scholarship October 31, 2021
The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship. Our application is open! Please visit: https://www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org/apply/
Pursuing a Positive Impact Scholarship October 31, 2021
Commonwealth Law Group is once again offering the Pursuing a Positive Impact Scholarship because we believe people who constantly pursue making a positive impact are the same people who will be the agents for effective change in our society. For more information and to apply, please visit: https://hurtinva.com/2021-pursuing-a-positive-impact-scholarship/
Duckett Local Conservation Scholarship October 31, 2021 All those who apply for the Steve Duckett Local Conservation Scholarship must be in good academic standing with their current educational institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Candidates for this scholarship must be able to demonstrate a commitment to environmental conservation using past and present volunteer, professional, and educational experiences. Candidates must be entering an accredited community college, college, university, or post-graduate program. For more information and to apply, please visit: https://www.virginiacriminallaws.com/2021-local-conservation-scholarship/
Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship November 15, 2021 The Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship contest is open to any high school senior who is a US Citizen. Applicants will be judged on scholarship, leadership, and financial need. The Elks National Foundation will award the Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship to 500 of the highest-rated applicants. Please visit: https://www.elks.org/scholars/scholarships/MVS.cfm for more information and to submit your application.
The JKCF College Scholarship Program is open to high school seniors who intend to enroll in a four-year college in the fall. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and demonstrate significant financial need to qualify for this award. Selection is also based on persistence, leadership, and a desire to help others. For more information please visit: https://www.jkcf.org/our-scholarships/