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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.

“An excellent community for families that want to stay involved! Everyone has a different opinion and all students, staff, and faculty are respectful of it. I have never been in an environment that was so inviting and welcoming. It is easy to find a home in this school because the staff genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. It really is a beautiful place and a great experience. I am very lucky to have gone through high school there.”

Alumna

“Beautiful school!”

Rachel

“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

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

SCA Parent

“Recently attended an event at this school – very beautiful!”

Kenneth

“I was among one of the very first classes SCA ever had. As a pioneer and a student to be a part of the foundation of clubs and classes that continue today, I am beyond proud of how far the school has come. There were many ups and downs during my four years but an amazing experience overall. Today at college I still look back on and cherish my times at SCA, thankful for the connections, education and sisterhood I acquired. I am looking forward to seeing many more young women carry on the traditions my class and recent classes have set for the future.”

Alumna, Class of '14

“My family has had an excellent experience at this school so far. Beyond the beautiful new facility, I have been impressed with the teachers and the administration! They challenge the girls both academically and spiritually, they know them by name, and appear to have a genuine concern for each individual student. The school really feels like a family. As a parent, it is a blessing to me to know that my daughter is in such good hands when I drop her off everyday.”

SCA Parent

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

SCA Parent

“[Teachers] care about the success of each student. They come early to help students and stay after school if necessary. They are a super dedicated faculty.”

SCA Parent

“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

American Beauty, the musical

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