CollegeEssays - Forest Hills High School


Aim: How can we prepare topics for our college essays?

Life influences

Do Now: Create a thoughtweb/graphic organizer for the following phrases:

Characterbuilding experiences

Life goals


• What can the college admissions board learn about you beyond your transcript and high school activities?

• What is an experience that helped shape your character?

• What are your personality traits?

• How would you define your strengths?

Macaulay Honors

• Tell us about a time in your life where you had to use your inner resources to overcome an obstacle. What did you learn?

• From what frequent activity do you derive your greatest joy?

Why is this activity meaningful to you, and how does it shape your perspective on life?

• Pick a story of local, national, or international importance from the front page of any newspaper. Identify your source and give the date the article appeared. Then use your sense of humor, sense of outrage, sense of justice—or just plain good sense— to explain why the story engages your attention.

Baruch College

• Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

• If you could meet anyone in the world, from history or present day, who would it be and why?

• Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

• Topic of your choice: Provide us with both the question and answer.

Hunter College

• Tell us about a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and how it impacted you personally. (250-500 words)

• Describe a specific interest or talent and how you have pursued it to date or wish to pursue it in the future.

(250-500 words)

• Provide both an essay question and response that you already completed via The Common Application.

2014-2015 Common Application Prompts

• Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

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

• Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

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