Developed in 1975, the Common App has revolutionized the college admissions process by streamlining the application process for both students and colleges.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of the Common Application, its benefits, and how to navigate through the process successfully.
Why Use the Common Application?
The Common Application offers numerous advantages to students seeking admission to multiple colleges. Here are some key benefits:
- Efficiency: By using the Common Application, students can complete a single application and submit it to multiple colleges. This saves time and effort, as students don’t need to fill out separate applications for each institution.
- Simplicity: The Common App provides a user-friendly interface that guides students through the application process step-by-step. It ensures that applicants don’t miss any crucial information or documents required by colleges.
- Wide Reach: Over 900 colleges and universities across the United States and other countries accept the Common Application. This means that students can apply to a diverse range of institutions without needing to learn individual application systems.
- Standardization: The Common Application includes standardized sections, such as personal information, academic history, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters. This allows colleges to evaluate applicants consistently and compare them based on similar criteria.
Navigating the Common Application
To successfully navigate the Common Application, follow these steps:
1. Create an Account
Start by creating an account on the Common App website. Provide your personal information, including your name, contact details, and educational background.
2. Add Colleges
Once your account is set up, you can search for colleges and universities that accept the Common Application. Browse the list and select the institutions you are interested in applying to. Be sure to review each college’s admission requirements and deadlines.
3. Fill out the Application Sections
The Common Application consists of several sections that require your attention. These sections include:
Provide your details, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. Make sure to double-check for any errors or typos.
Include information about your high school, courses taken, grades, and standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, etc.). Be honest and accurate while entering this information.
Activities and Extracurriculars
List your extracurricular activities, community service, leadership roles, and any other notable experiences. Colleges value well-rounded applicants, so highlight your achievements and responsibilities.
The Common Application usually requires an essay or personal statement. Take your time to craft a compelling and unique piece that showcases your personality, passions, and goals. Proofread your essay thoroughly before submission.
Request recommendation letters from teachers, counsellors, or other mentors who know you well. Provide their contact information through the Common App system, and make sure to ask them well in advance to give them ample time for writing and submitting the recommendations.
4. Check for Supplemental Requirements
Some colleges have additional requirements beyond the Common Application. These may include writing supplements, portfolios, or specific questions. Make sure to review each college’s website or contact their admissions office to ensure you fulfill all the requirements.
5. Submit and Pay
Once you have completed all the sections and reviewed your application for accuracy, it’s time to submit. Pay attention to the application fee, which varies depending on the number of colleges you apply to. Fee waivers are available for eligible students who demonstrate financial need.
Tips for a Successful Common Application
To make the most out of the Common Application process, consider the following tips:
- Start Early: Begin your application process well in advance to have enough time to gather all the necessary information and complete the required sections.
- Follow Guidelines: Read the instructions and guidelines provided by the Common App and each college carefully. Ensure that you meet all requirements and adhere to word limits for essays.
- Showcase Your Uniqueness: Use the personal statement and additional essays to highlight your personality, experiences, and aspirations. Be authentic and let your voice shine through.
- Proofread Thoroughly: Mistakes and typos can leave a negative impression on admissions officers. Before submitting, review your application multiple times to catch any errors and seek feedback from teachers or mentors.
- Demonstrate Interest: Some colleges offer the option to demonstrate interest in their institution. Take advantage of this opportunity by researching each college and tailoring your application to showcase your alignment with their values and programs.
By following these steps and tips, you can navigate the Common Application successfully and increase your chances of gaining admission to your desired colleges and universities. Start early, stay organized, and present your best self through your application. Good luck!
your details, such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number (if applicable).
Enter information about your high school, including your GPA, class rank, and any advanced placement or honours courses you have taken.
List your involvement in extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports teams, community service, and leadership roles.
Write and submit your statement and any supplemental essays required by the colleges you are applying to.
Request recommendation letters from teachers, counsellors, or other individuals who can speak to your academic abilities and personal qualities.
4. Review and Submit
Once you have completed all the sections, review your application thoroughly to ensure accuracy and completeness. After reviewing, submit your application to each college before the respective deadlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Common Application?
The Common Application, also known as the Common App, is an online college application platform that allows students to apply to multiple colleges simultaneously.
What are the benefits of using the Common Application
The Common Application offers benefits such as efficiency, simplicity, wide reach, and standardization in the college admissions process.
How do I navigate the Common Application?
To navigate the Common Application, create an account, add colleges, fill out the application sections (personal information, academic history, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters), and review and submit your application.
How many colleges accept the Common Application?
Over 900 colleges and universities across the United States and other countries accept the Common Application.