The Common App announced earlier this year that for the 2021-2022 application season, it will feature a new essay prompt that encourages students to write about gratitude and kindness:
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Common App President & CEO Jenny Rickard says, “Particularly at this challenging time, we can help students think about something positive and heartfelt in their lives. And we can do it explicitly.”
The gratitude prompt replaces the seldom used problem solving prompt. As for the optional COVID-19 question, it will continue within the Additional Information section for the next academic year
Here's a link for the full set of essay prompts for 2021-2022: