The College Essay is the first assignment due in the Senior English class. There will be a required essay workshop held by The College Essay Guy the summer before Senior year with direction on how to draft your college essay over the summer.
What will you need to write for admission purposes:
Two year schools:an essay is usually not required, but you might need one for scholarship applications, honors programs, etc.
Four year schools: you will need at least one "main" essay (generally the essay you will write in class) that you will use for most of your applications. Some schools like the UC schools, don't use these essays - they have their own topics. Some (but not all) of your schools will also require supplemental (additional) essays.
I recommend that you start with one of these topics (which are set for 2022-2023):
These are essays that are specific essays requested by a particular school. It's important that these are highly personalized and highly customized. These are some of the best indicators of a student's "fit" (and sincere interest) in the school. Most schools max out at around 300 words for these, but sometimes they are much shorter - 150 words (a few sentences!) or even 150 characters!
Common topics for longer supplements: The "Why Us?" essay, The "Extracurricular" essay, The "Why this major/career" essay.
These essay topics can change each year. New topics are not usually available until early August.
On some applications, including the Common App, there is a place for students to write about other things that are important for the admission committee to know, that may not be disclosed elsewhere. This should only be included if necessary, and is not a place for fluff or filler. It's also not another essay - it is a place for "information" only.
Some common items to include here:
important details about activities that wouldn't fit in the activities list
health information if it affected academics
any red flags (like a grade that is way off of your typical grades, why you dropped activities that you appeared to be committed to, why you are missing a subject that would be expected)
circumstances that made it difficult to be involved in extracurriculars (e.g. I am a caregiver for someone else, or I work 25 hours a week to contribute to my family )
physical or learning disabilities or differences (if you want to disclose)
covid 19 information
The Common App will provide students who need it with a dedicated space to elaborate on the impact of the pandemic, both personally and academically.