March/April 2019

2019-2020 Common App Essay Prompts

The Common Application has announced that the 2019-2020 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2018-2019 essay prompts. Based on extensive counselor feedback, the existing essay prompts provide great flexibility for applicants to tell their unique stories in their own voice. Retaining the essay prompts provides the added benefit of consistency for students, counselors, parents, and members during the admissions process.

2019-2020 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.

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?

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

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.

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

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?

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.

During the 2018-2019 application year, the most popular topic of choice was: “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.” (24.1%). The next most popular topics were: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.” (23.7%), followed by “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?” (21.1%).

"The prompts as they exist today offer a broad range of approaches, accommodating students with a diverse set of experiences and ideas about the world to respond in a thoughtful and illuminating manner,"' said Ian Watson, Associate Director of College Counseling at The Rivers School (Weston, MA).


Our Cum Laude rehearsal and ceremony will be held on March 7, 2019. Rehearsal will be held at 7:15 a.m. and the ceremony at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. 2019 inductees were notified by mailed invitation the second full week of February.


Advanced Placement Exams will be given at Mt. Lebanon High School the weeks of May 6-10 and May 13-17, 2019. The registration deadline has passed and registration is closed. Letters to students who have registered will be given out in April through their homeroom teachers regarding exam day details (arrival time, room assignment, etc.). Students have the option to cancel their exam/s before Tuesday, April 23, 2019, for a refund of $80.00 per test. If you have any questions please contact your school counselor.

College Testing Information


March 9, 2019 Reasoning Test Only @ MTLHS

May 4, 2019 NOT @ MTLHS

June 1, 2019 @ MTLHS

SAT Test Center Number: 39-442 for March & June registration. We do not offer the MAY SAT test at MTLHS.


April 13, 2019 NOT @ MTLHS

June 8, 2019 NOT @ MTLHS

July 13, 2019 NOT @ MTLHS

Mt. Lebanon High School Code 393730 (SAT & ACT)



For parking and other test-day information, please visit the High School website.

Contact Mr. Rolf Briegel (SAT Center Supervisor) via email with questions or concerns.

For information on College Testing Accommodations process, please see instructions on the School Counseling/ Forms page here.

Who should take SAT subject tests?

Students applying to more rigorous institutions should also consider a test date in the late spring of junior year or early fall of senior year to complete two or three SAT Subject tests. The majority of colleges do NOT require SAT Subject tests; but those that do will use the scores for admission purposes and/or to determine what level the student may begin a particular course of study. A student may take up to three subject tests on any one test date. Each test is one hour long. The specific tests to be taken should be selected on the basis of scholastic achievement, anticipated college major, and the requirements of the college to which the student plans to apply. Juniors and seniors at Mt. Lebanon most often choose from Math II, a science, U.S. History, or a world language. The recommended date for SAT Subject tests is late in the junior year (May/June) or early in the senior year (October) to allow for maximum classroom preparation.

Freshman and Sophomores currently enrolled in Honors Biology or Honors Chemistry please click here for more information on SAT Subject Tests for those courses.

Parkway West Career And Technical School Applications

Are you interested in attending Parkway West Career and Technical School next year? Complete this application and turn it in to Mrs. Schneider in the Counseling Office.

Driver's Education Class


May 7th, 14th, and 21st, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

INSTRUCTORS: Mr. Antis, Mr. DeHaas, Mr. Herzog and Mr. Sliacky

Resident: $375.00 (Complete Program and License Test)

Non Resident: $390.00 (Complete Program and License Test)

Car Instruction Only and License Test-$300.00



The Mt. Lebanon School District online driver education program is Pennsylvania Department of Education approved. This program meets the traditional 30 hours of theory and 6 hours of car instruction that most insurance companies are looking for. The full program consists of 3 in-person classes (an introductory class, a guest presentation, and the final exam); 7-online modules that can be done from any computer at any time before the final exam, 3-hours of individualized simulation; and individualized car instruction. This fee also includes the Pennsylvania state approved driver licensing test.

Students who successfully complete the Mt. Lebanon theory/simulation are eligible for road instruction and license testing with Mt. Lebanon program certified instructors.

Students who have successfully completed other Pennsylvania Department of Education approved programs are eligible to take car instruction and license testing through the Mt. Lebanon program (as part of the Car Instruction Only Program). Students must show proof of successful completion of a PDE approved theory course from another institution for the car only portion. The charge for the six hours of road instruction which includes one half hour for license testing is listed above.

Project Prom

Prom will be here before you know it (May 30th) and we just wanted to let you know about a program available in Allegheny County: Project Prom!

Don't miss this opportunity. You can also volunteer to help in this worthwhile event that takes place each year. See Brochure here.

West Point and William & Jefferson ROTC Information Session

Washington & Jefferson College is hosting an information session to learn more about the United States Military Academy at West Point along with Washington & Jefferson College's Battalion on Wednesday, March 13. Further details along with RSVP information can be found here. This event is a great way to learn more about service academies and ROTC programs so we encourage you to attend if you are interested in these opportunities.

MLEA Summer Grant Scholarships

Does your summer include a learning enrichment* activity such as:

  • Leadership Conference
  • Art Program
  • Music Program
  • Drama Program
  • Dance Study
  • Forensic/Debate Program
  • Science or Computer Science Camp
  • Culture or Language Camp

If so, you may consider applying for an MLEA Summer Grant Scholarship. To be considered, you will need to submit an online application and two brief teacher/coach/mentor recommendations. Apply online here. Deadline to apply is May 3, 2019.

*Programs than cannot be funded include athletic or religious camps, travel-abroad programs, private tutoring/lessons/college credit or online programs.

Outreach Teen Services, Inc.

Outreach Teen & Family Services offers Education, Prevention and Intervention programs. Their mission is to promote and provide empathetic, personal, accessible and affordable mental health counseling and wellness programs for children and their families. They also provide parenting programs and many other resources to families in the area.

Click here or call 412.561.5405 to find out more.

Summer Learning Programs

Summer Learning, Camp and Gap Year programs are listed in Naviance Student under Colleges Home/Research Colleges/Enrichment programs.

TeenLife offers a comprehensive list of over 2,000 outside-the-classroom enrichment programs for students in grades 7-12, including summer programs and gap year options.

The Counseling Office is informed of many summer opportunties throughout the year. Mt. Lebanon School District does not endorse these programs, rather we provide this information as a courtesy to those intererested in outside-the-classroom enrichment programs. Please investigate offerings thoroughly prior to enrolling in them.