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College Essays

Common App 2020-2021 Essay Prompts

  • Share your Story: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.
  • Learning from Obstacles: 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?
  • Challenging a Belief: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Solving a Problem: Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Personal Growth: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • What Captivates You?: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging 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?
  • Topic of Your Choice: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you have already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

“I loved every minute at St. Catherine! The friends I made there will always be a part of my family. This school taught me how to be a strong, intelligent, independent woman who is strong in her faith. I am blessed to say I got to experience SCA.”

Alumna, Class of '18

“The school lives up to their mission statement by unlocking the feminine genius in the girls who go there and providing us with the opportunity to discover who we are meant to be.”

MaryKatherine

“My first day of freshman year was something I never expected, Saint Catherine just felt like home. The atmosphere, staff, and the student body were all so amazing. I knew from the second I came to the school that it was where I was meant to be. I am currently a senior and my experience so far has been one too remember I have grown mentally, physically, spiritually and my journey has been one to remember. I love SCA and all the girls I have met are truly going to be my sisters throughout my life, its an amazing school and is a place I will call home forever.”

Alumna, Class of '18

“The community service, the focus on virtuous living, and the sisterhood really instills compassion and respect for all of humanity.”

SCA Parent

“This school is not only college prep, it is life prep. I know that my daughter is being educated to go out and make a positive difference in the world. She will graduate with the confidence and courage to lead wherever she goes in life. I love the principal, the teachers, and the families. It is such a blessing to be a part of the SCA Family. I know the friends my daughter has made will be her sisters for life.”

SCA Parent

“I have been very impressed with the teachers at this school. They both challenge the girls academically and show true concern for them on a personal level as well.”

SCA Parent

“Even if there were 10 stars, I would still put 11!”

Katherine

“SCA proves you can educate young women to both get into Heaven and Harvard!”

SCA Parent

“[SCA] builds upon your faith and strengthen you academically throughout the four years in high school so that you are more than ready when you move on to college.”

Zina

“A crazy amount of extra curricular options-basically if you are passionate about it [SCA] will find a way to help you bring it to fruition!”

Leighanne

Meet the Class of 2021!