College Essay Topics

by Loraine Walters
Created: 22.01.2019
Updated: 10.12.2019
College Essay Topics

Applying for college may be an intimidating task for most students, especially if you don’t feel like writing is your particular forte. Obviously, you might think that your entire life depends on how well you write a thesis statement, but you must remember that writing about any academic topic should be enjoyable. At, we want to make your life easier and give you the examples of college essay topics to go over, because, well, forewarned is forearmed.

Most colleges do not want you to provide the answer to the world’s most critical questions right away. Instead, they care about your personality and passions. With that in mind, you should not worry about doing lots of research while writing an essay. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a list of some of the most common college essay topics. If after reviewing them you’re not quite sure what to do next, we’ve got you covered. Scroll a little lower, and you’ll see the best tips to keep in mind while writing an essay.

List of College Essay Topics

  1. Describe a facet of your identity, background or story that is essential to who you are.
  2. Describe a favorite book or movie where the main character has to decide something difficult. What did you think about their choice?
  3. Describe something you’re passionate about. How do you learn more about it? What makes it so appealing?
  4. If you could add an amendment to the Constitution, what would you add?
  5. If you could change one day of your life, what would you change? Why?
  6. If you could give any advice to an incoming high school student, what would it be?
  7. If you could meet with any person, living or dead, for an hour, who would it be and what would you say to them?
  8. If you could stop one invention from being invented, what would it be?
  9. If you could time travel to any time and place, where would you go?
  10. If you were to give a very important speech or a TED talk, what would it be about?
  11. If you were to teach a class, what would your class be on?
  12. Pick a law and explain why it is so important to you.
  13. Pick a quote that describes a lot about you, and explain why you connect with it.
  14. Pick your own topic for this essay.
  15. Talk about a person in your life who has helped you understand yourself better.
  16. Talk about a personal accomplishment that is unrelated to academics, but that means a lot to you.
  17. Tell us a “Eureka” moment that you had and what sparked it.
  18. Tell us a topic that you have changed your mind on in the past three years.
  19. Tell us about a time where you challenged your pre-existing worldview. Why? Would you do this again?
  20. Tell us about a time where you had to either take a risk or stay safe. What did you do? What happened? Would you do it again?
  21. Tell us the best advice you’ve ever gotten, who told you it and whether or not you followed the advice.
  22. What book would you recommend to everyone?
  23. What do you want people to know about you but are afraid to tell them?
  24. What is one thing you want to accomplish in college?
  25. What makes you angry? What are you doing or what have you done about it?
  26. Who is someone you have spoken up for because he/she cannot speak for him/herself?
  27. Why do you want to attend this college/university?
  28. Write about a moment that illustrated your shift from child to adult within your community or family.
  29. Write about a problem that you have or want to solve. It can be as big or as small as you can think of!
  30. Write about a time that you failed at something. How did that failure affect you?
  31. Write about the role that a certain activity (sports, theater, band, etc.) has had on your life.
  32. Write about your life goals.
  33. Write about your most embarrassing moment and how you learned from it.
  34. Write an essay about a time that you had to be brave or stand up for what you believed in.

How to write a college essay?


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  1. Sharon

    Great ideas for College Essay Topics! I often have trouble thinking of ideas and you presented 34!

  2. Anne

    These College Essay Topics are certainly the ones that will challenge the most experienced writer. Students will love the new ideas.