2015-2016 Essay Requirement Changes

Starting with the 2015-2016 application year, Common Application Member colleges and universities will have the choice to require or not require the Common App Personal Essay.  Here is what you and your students can expect next year with respect to essay requirements and the submission process:

  1. Member colleges and universities can choose to require or not require the Personal Essay as part of the application.
  1. Applicants will always have the option to submit the Personal Essay if they wish to do so.
  1. If the Personal Essay is required for a particular college, that requirement will be enforced during the submission process. In other words, students will not be able to submit an application without this required element.
  1. Individual Member writing requirements will be reflected in multiple places within the application.
  1. Like all other parts of the application, the essay will remain editable for all applicants, at any time.

Finally, in addition to the above processes, we are working on ways to better communicate each Member college’s individual writing requirements so that students can have a complete understanding of what is expected and where it can be found. We look forward to sharing images of these new displays later this spring.

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