3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is writing about my unique family a good common app personal essay topic?

I am a senior in highschool and I was wondering if writing about my unique family would be a good common app personal essay topic (Prompt 1?)? I have over 20 family members who all live within 20 minutes each other and we see each other almost every week. We spend time together all the time and my siblings cousins and I ( over 10 of us) at one point all attended the same school district. Is it a good idea to write my common app personal essay about my family and some of our experiences or is it too cliche?

@Seandurr3 years ago [edited]

Ask yourself what you're trying to show about yourself to the admission officers. You have a close family, so what about your experiences with them will contribute to the colleges you're applying to? If you can't find anything, then I'd suggest picking another topic.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

1 answer

3 years ago[edited]

As @Seandurr said, the personal statement should be about you, yours experiences, and your growth. Remember that colleges are looking to admit you, not your family. So you need to tie whatever you write about to how that shaped YOUR character. If that event happens to be a family experience, that totally fine. As long as you have a story that shows why you would fit at a college, and not some interesting fact about your family, you will be fine.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works