2020-21 Princeton to Update Supplemental Essay Prompts

I don’t need to tell you the we’re living in interesting times, and that changes of all kinds are happening faster than we can count them.

As you begin working on your college application essays, I’m sure many of you know that the Common Application prompts have not changed from last year, but there is a new twist on the Common App — an optional, 250-word essay about the effect the pandemic has had on your life/education. Although it’s optional, I recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to say something about what you’ve experienced and learned – about yourself, your family, your world – during this unprecedented time.

Because of so many other changes in higher education, including the huge increase in test optional colleges for this coming year, it’s wise to prepare for some colleges to revise their supplemental essays.

Yale has taken the lead and already published its 2020-21 supplements here. Harvard has been mum on the matter, as has Stanford, but Princeton promises some changes.

From the Princeton website: “Please Note: We are currently in the process of updating our Supplement questions for the 2020-21 admission cycle. The questions will be available to view on our website in mid-July.

I will post the new Princeton supplements as soon as they become public.

PLEASE NOTE THIS TOO: Because of COVID complications, Princeton has eliminated (restricted) early action for the coming year, and there is one and only one application deadline: January 1, 2021. They will announce acceptances on or before April 1.

If you’re applying to any of the the University of California campuses, its non-Common Application prompts are posted here.

In the meantime, if you’ve begun writing essays, you’ve got your work cut out for you, with the Common App essay and the optional Covid essay, should you decide to do it.

I have a packet of standard and supplemental essays for about 30 colleges, including those for the Common App and Coalition for Access. The supplements are last year’s unless they have been updated. Please contact me if you would like a set of these prompts, at Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com

And if you’d like someone to brainstorm with, to review essays you’ve already written, or strategize about any aspect of your college applications, please shoot me an email: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com

And, most important, stay safe and sane!