The Common App released its revised its essay prompts for the 2015 to 2016 application cycle.
Mostly, the CA just updated the prompts to allow more thoughtful and robust responses.
While most prompts are essentially the same--the one on background or about your greatest failure--others are completely new: Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve....
I hail the changes.
Updating the language afford/requires students to take more risk with the writing, allowing them to show another side to themselves.
So, why is the standard Place-of-Peace essay gone? I'm just surmising here as I've not read admissions essays in a few years. However, as I do read college essays and work with many students on admissions essays, I feel qualified to respond.
Reason 1: The Place-of-Peace essay is the easy choice, giving students a chance to respond with more resume filler: My place of peace in the neuroscience lab, where I am developing a new anti-serum to end world hunger.
This typical student response is understandable. After all, this essay counts big, and students want to make it check every possible box. That biggest failure prompt? That's not going to allow for double dipping and resume-polishing like the Place-of-Peace had. (However, it does make for a far more interesting final product.)
Reason 2: The Place-of-Peace essay is boring to read. Think of bulk essay reading like judging Miss America. At some point, you tire of hearing that each contestant wants world peace. You'd like to hear something edgy, real, off putting, something that offers insight, clarity, depth. When a Little Miss Sunshine walks in espousing an edgy viewpoint, you're at least no longer bored.
Rising seniors, no matter which of the new essay choices you're drawn to, now's the time to look at the prompts and think about your possible choice.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.