20 Creative College Essay Topics

The essay is an important component of your college application. This is your opportunity to show the admissions committee that part of your personality that cannot be discerned from your transcripts and grades. The key to being able to do this successfully is in choosing the right topic for your college essay. Here are 20 creative college essay topics!

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College Essay Prompts

Some colleges give applicants a set of essay topics to choose from. Choosing one from the options provided is relatively easy. You simply choose one that best applies to your unique circumstances.

Other colleges ask students to write an essay on a topic of their choice. This can get a little more challenging as you try and narrow down the endless options to choose from. These creative college essay topics will help you get started.

20 Creative College Essay Topics 

As you go through the topic ideas, think about whether or not it relates to you. After you’ve shortlisted a few, spent time brainstorming how you could related that topic to your circumstances.

  1. Describe an experience, event or achievement that triggered a new understanding of yourself or others.
  2. Share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received. Why do you rate it as the best? How did it guide or change you?
  3. If you could change just one event in world history, which would you choose to change? Why?
  4. Reflect on an idea or concept you find so intriguing, it often causes you to lose track of time. Highlight what you find so intriguing about it and maybe how you stumbled upon that idea or concept.
  5. Describe some of your most noteworthy accomplishments that have no connection to academics.
  6. Choose one quote that defines who you are. Explain why you chose that particular quote and how you think it defines you.
  7. If you have some unusual plans for after you graduate, talk about those plans. Discuss how the idea came about and how you intend to execute it.
  8. Reflect on what you see as the biggest challenge to teenagers today. Explain your reasoning.
  9. Can you think of someone who deserves the Nobel Prize in a particular category? Imagine you’re a member of the Nobel Prize Board and put forward a convincing argument about why they deserve the award.
  10. Reflect on your unique personality trait or special skill that allows you to stand out in a crowd. Back it up with concrete examples where possible.
  11. Discuss an unusual volunteering experience. Highlight the impression these experiences left on you.
  12. Share an unusual traveling experience.
  13. If you had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with any individual living or dead, who would that be? Explain why you chose that person and what you would like to speak to them about.
  14. Reflect on how your family in general or one person in your family shaped you into who you are.
  15. Talk about that one teacher or mentor who encouraged and motivated you or maybe said something that guided your actions.
  16. Discuss what you learnt as part of a competitive sports team.
  17. Talk about a time when you challenged or questioned an idea or a belief. What caused you to question the idea or belief? What was the outcome?
  18. If you could travel back in time to any period in history, which period would you choose? Why?
  19. Name one book, person, or event that has had a profound impression on you or influenced the choices you’ve made.
  20. Recount an obstacle or setback that you experienced that eventually contributed to your success.

Keep These Tips In Mind When Choosing Your College Essay Topic

While there are no absolute right or wrong topics for writing a college essay, there are a few that are best avoided. As much as possible steer clear of controversial topics, particularly politics and religion. Most people have very strong opinions when it comes to these two areas. If the reader’s beliefs or opinions are the complete opposite of yours, they’ll find it difficult to be objective.

Be honest in your choice of topics and the message you are trying to convey. When you choose a topic that truly means something to you, your essay will sound more sincere and convincing. Spotting a fake is easy to an experienced eye.

You don’t necessarily have to choose a very serious or heavy topic. Go with a humorous angle if that’s your innate personality but don’t try to force it.

The Importance of a College Essay

While the ultimate admission decision does not depend on the essay alone, a strong essay can sway the decision in your favor. This is particularly crucial when deciding between two candidates with equally strong academic credentials. Choosing a topic at random and rushing through the essay writing is a mistake. It takes time to write an essay that will stand out and help you win that prized seat in your dream college.

Before you apply to a college, you’ll want to know that it’s a good match! Use College Raptor’s free match tool to discover affordable schools that are ideal fits for you.

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