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Your essay is an important tool for presenting something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your application.
For the 2019-20 application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the 2018-19 cycle.
With the inclusion of the popular "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office.
Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.
How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
In third place was Option #2 on a setback or failure. Always keep in mind why colleges are asking for an essay: they want to get to know you better.
Nearly all selective colleges and universities (as well as many that aren't overly selective) have holistic admissions, and they consider many factors in addition to numerical measures such as grades and standardized test scores.
Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Here, again, the Common Application gives you a lot of options for approaching the question.
The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story.
Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great.