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Vol. 2 Senior Scoop - October 2023


Common App 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. 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 resume 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 obstacles 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 when 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.

It is recommended that although it may be appropriate to mention COVID-19, remote learning, or other pandemic-related issues, it should not be the main focus of your essay. There will be an optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section where you can address concerns, growth, and challenges.

All Colleges & Universities understand that COVID-19 has affected students in dramatically different ways. If you need it, the COVID-19 and natural disaster question in the Additional Information section is a place for you to describe the impact of these events.

The question is not intended to be an extra essay. There's also no need to describe how your school responded to these events. Your counselor will have the opportunity to discuss impacts like closures, online instruction, and grading policies. Instead, consider how these events may have impacted you, your family, and your learning environment. Examples might include:

  • Illness or loss within your family or support network

  • Employment or housing disruptions within your family

  • Food insecurity

  • Toll on mental and emotional health

  • New obligations such as part-time work or care for siblings or family members

  • Availability of computer or internet access required to continue your studies

  • Access to a safe and quiet study space

  • A new direction for your major or career interests

For more information please visit:

Please contact Mrs. Sorel in the Counseling Office if you have additional questions or need assistance.


October Scholarship Listing

2023 Future Leaders Scholarship DEADLINE: October 12, 2023

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:

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) DEADLINE: November 6, 2023

Honors 9th-12th grade women, genderqueer, or non-binary students for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and future plans. Since 2007, more than 20,000 students have received an Award for AiC. For more information and to apply, please visit:

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship DEADLINE: October 1, 2023

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:

Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship DEADLINE: November 13, 2023 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: for more information and to submit your application.

JKCF College Scholarship DEADLINE: November 16, 2023

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:

Find More Scholarships at (various deadlines)


College Representatives Visits

  • 10/2 at 8:00am - University of Massachusetts-Boston

  • 10/3 at 9:00 am - Springfield Technical Community College

  • 10/5 at 9:00am - Fitchburg State University

  • 10/5 at 12:00pm - Worcester State University

  • 10/10 at 9:00am - College of the Holy Cross

  • 10/10 at 12:00pm - Fisher College

  • 10/11 at 12:00pm - Albertus Magnus College

  • 10/12 at 8:00am - Springfield College

  • 10/13 at 11:00am - Landmark College

  • 10/16 at 1:00pm - Rhode Island College

  • 10/17 at 12:00pm - Roger Williams University

  • 10/23 at 11:00am - Salem State University

  • 10/25 at 11:00am - University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

  • 10/26 at 8:00am - University of Massachusetts-Lowell

  • 10/27 at 1:00pm - Simmons University

  • 11/1 at 1:00pm - University of New England

  • 11/3 at 12:00pm - Saint Anselm College


College Application Celebration Week: November 13-17, 2023

  • College Application Completion support workshops throughout the week

  • Direct Admit sessions with area colleges & universities

  • Recognition of Seniors who submit (or have submitted) college applications!


The trusted experts at MEFA are hosting FREE financial aid webinars! For more information and to register, please visit:

Find information about Financial Aid and apply through FAFSA here:


For questions or concerns please contact:

Mrs. Kristen Sorel

* Monson High School * 55 Margaret Street, Monson, MA 01057 * (413) 267 4589 ex. 6006 *

To download and print the October Senior Scoop, please click below:

_Vol. 2October 2023 (1)
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