Are you wondering if you should write about Covid on your college application? It’s an optional question on the Common App this year, but let’s discuss whether it makes sense to respond…because in this case optional truly means optional.
The specific wording of the “Covid essay” is:
Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces.
- Do you wish to share anything on this topic? Y/N
- Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you.
The question appears in the Additional Information section of the application.The response length is limited to 250 words.
Here’s our advice. If and only if the pandemic has significantly impacted you and/or your family in one or more deep and meaningful way(s), you should answer this question. For example, if you or a parent lost a job, you didn’t have internet access at home, or someone in your immediate family became seriously ill with Covid, use the space to talk about the challenges you’ve faced, how they have impacted you, what you’ve done in response, and what you have learned from the experience. If you find that you truly need more than 250 words, you can also address those issues in the Additional Information section of the Common Application; that section provides students with 650 words to address any topic they feel is essential for the admissions committee to know.
We do not recommend that you make your personal statement/main essay about Covid. The personal statement is an opportunity to share something with the admissions committee that is revealing about your character and personality and not already apparent from other parts of the application.
For support on how to reduce stress around the admissions process, essay writing tips, or testing advice, please reach out to Expert Admissions for more information.