New Common Application Essay Questions Emphasize Students' Unique Stories And Voice

Story To College launches webinar and e-book to help students and parents from diverse backgrounds understand the new Common App

Feb 08, 2013, 13:25 ET from Story To College

NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The new Common Application ("CA4") essay questions were released on February 5, a month ahead of schedule.

The new questions are designed, in the words of The Common Application, "To ensure that all applicants, regardless of their background or access to counseling...have the chance to tell their unique stories." 

The early release and new framing of the questions give underserved students a much fairer playing field in this critical aspect of the application process - one which has prevented many academically qualified but economically disadvantaged students from applying to colleges where they could be admitted.

To support students from all backgrounds as they navigate CA4, Story To College released two new services today: Guide to the 2013 Common Application (CA4) e-book, which guides students and parents through each step of the Common Application, including the new essay questions; and a free parent webinar that explains the new approach and gives parents a chance to ask questions about how to help their children gain confidence and independence in the college application process.

To sign-up for the free webinar and purchase the e-book, visit

"These new products confirm our commitment to college access for all students," explained Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO of Story To College. "The new questions encourage students to tell stories from their own experience in their own voice. This is a completely different approach that will help students to express their backgrounds and aspirations more clearly in the application process."

In addition to new questions, the Personal Essay section of the Common Application will now be completed online and within a firm 250 to 650 word limit. "The new length gives students a bit more room to expand their stories and connect with admissions officers," Barash added.

Based in New York, Story To College has taught over 5,600 high school students from all backgrounds how to use the tools of oral storytelling to complete successful college application essays and interviews. "We do not write or edit students' essays," Barash explained, "We teach students the tools and the confidence to do the work themselves."

About Story To College
Story To College is a community of students, parents and schools committed to teaching students how to tell their unique stories to stand out in the highly competitive college admissions process. Founded in 2010 we have helped over 5,600 students – from high schools across the U.S. and around the world – explore the parts of their character that go beyond grades and test scores, awards and achievements. Through online and on-site courses, e-books, and articles, Story To College empowers aspiring college students to tap into the shared human experience, building skills for school, work and life success. Visit





SOURCE Story To College