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Maria Martinez

2017-2018 New Common Application Essay Prompts

Attention Current 11th Graders:


This message was sent via e-mail on 2/17/17 to all counselors:


We are pleased to share the 2017-2018 Common Application essay prompts with you. The changes you see below reflect the feedback of 108 Common App member colleges and more than 5,000 other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors. Students represented the single largest share of constituent survey respondents (59%), followed by school counselors (23%), and teachers (11%).


Read The Common App Essay Prompts Are Changing 


We were gratified to learn that 91% of members and 90% of constituents agree or strongly agree that the current prompts are effective. In addition, the narrative comments we received helped us see areas for improvement in three of the prompts. Working in close consultation with the counselors and admission officers on our advisory committees, we revised these prompts in a way that we believe will help students see expanded opportunities for expressing themselves. Those revisions appear in italics. You will also notice two new prompts. The first asks students to share examples of their intellectual curiosity. The second is a return to inviting students to submit an essay on a topic of their choice, reframed to help students understand that they are welcome to draw inspiration from multiple sources, not just their own creativity.


The word limit on the essay will remain at 650.


The goal of these revisions is to help all applicants, regardless of background or access to counseling, see themselves and their stories within the prompts. They are designed to invite unencumbered discussions of character and community, identity, and aspiration. To this end, we will be creating new educational resources to help students both understand and approach the opportunities the essay presents for them.


2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]


CAP Bay Area


At Making Waves, we partner with students to achieve their goal of obtaining a college degree. With a long track record of impressive success, we are excited to expand our program.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Graduating high school class of 2018
  • 4-year college bound
  • Low-income: estimated Family Contribution (EFC) below $5,000
  • Bay Area resident (all 9 counties - Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma)

Student benefits include:

  • 1:1 College coaching
  • Personal Financial Services Coordinator
  • Up to $5,000 of support annually (for a maximum of 5 years)
  • Professional and peer networking opportunities
  • Lifetime Making Waves alumni of CAP Bay Area

Deadlines & Events:

  • Application Deadline - December 12, 2017
  • Semi-Finalist Notification - December 2017
  • Final Application Deadline - February 2018
  • CAP Bay Area Wave-Makers Announced - March 2018
  • College Preparation Workshops - June 2018




NEW UC Personal Insight Questions for Fall 2017 Undergraduate Freshmen Applicants

NEW UC Personal Insight Questions for Fall 2017 Freshmen Applicants. Applicants must respond to 4 out of the following 8 Insight Questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

  1. Describ ...more

Ms. Maria Martinez's Picture

Ms. Maria Martinez's Picture

ACADEMIC COUNSELOR starting 2016-2017

Attention Lincoln Parents & Students:


Ms. Maria Martinez is no longer the College & Career Counselor & the College Center is CLOSED until further notice.

For assistance with College Support all 9th-12th grade students must see their grade level Academic Counselor in Counseling Office Room 149


As of 2016-2017 she will be an Academic Counselor in the Counseling Office, Room 149.


Case Load of Students include:


9-12th Grade AVID


10-12th Teacher Academy


10th-12th Academy of Finance (AOF)

College Center Important Update

Attention Lincoln Students, Parents & Staff:


The College & Career Center is CLOSED for the 2016-2017 Academic Year, until further notice.  Questions regarding this change can be addressed to Sharimar Balisi Manalang, Principal.  Ms. Maria Martinez is no longer the College & Career Counselor.  She has joined the Counseling Office Team as an Academic Counselor. Ms. Martinez will carry the caseloads of Mr. Kingsley/Mr. Weger.  Also, there is NO PACT Advisor. 


This means that students and parents requesting assistance with College Advising will be receiving this support from their assigned Academic Counselor.  All Academic Counselors are located in the Counseling Office Room 149. 


Counselors Are:

  1. Mrs. Ashley Brumbach-  12th Grade Counselor (Biotech, AOIT, Green Academy)
  2. Mrs. Betty Hom- 11th Grade Counselor (Biotech, AOIT, Green Academy)
  3. Mrs. Lisa Westlund- 10th Grade Counselor (ACE Pathway, AOIT & Green Academy)
  4. Mrs. Gabriela Rodriguez- 9th Grade Counselor (ACE Pathway)
  5. Mrs. Marlena Doyle- 9th-12th Grade EL Counselor
  6. Ms. Maria Martinez- 9th-12th AVID; 10th-12th Teacher Academy & 10th-12th Academy of Finance (AOF)



Mrs. Adrienne Smith, New Counseling Office Assistant Principal

 in Room 149


College Representative that would like to set up a Visit to Abraham Lincoln High School please contact Mrs. Adrienne Smith via e-mail at


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