The Common Application (also knows as the “Common App”) is a widely used application system wherein a student can use one application to apply to over 500 colleges and universities nationwide. It gives the student an opportunity to send the same strong application to many institutions and it gives admissions counselors an easier standard by which to compare various students for admission.
What does the Common App Require?
When a student goes to fill our their Common App, they will need to input the same information that would be found on any other college application:
- Personal information
- Demographic information
- Academic performance
- College essay
After all of this information is complete, a student can then select colleges that accept the Common App to get more information on that particular colleges requirements, such as:
- Test score requirements
- Form requirements
Once a student completes his or her application, they can submit it online or via mail. For more information on the exact schools that accept the Common App Here is a comprehensive list
Why Is the Common App Useful?
The most important benefit of the Common Application is for the student: it reduces they time they have to take filling out the same information several times. Once students complete their Common App (which is the only application option for many schools), they are free to focus on their college essay, SAT and ACT Tests, as well as finishing their final high school chapter on a high note.
Additionally, The Common App:
- Is free to use the (students still pay each college’s individual application fees).
- Allows students to revise and save their applications as many times as they’d like before submitting
- Gives students the ability to create different application versions tailored to different institutions
- Allows students can track the progress of faculty materials (such as recommendation letters) through Common App Online
Does the Common App Require Anything Else?
Some schools might ask for additional materials outside of the Common App in order to give admissions office a more complete picture of an applicant. Institutions might ask for:
- A statement of purpose as to why a student is choosing a particular school
- Test Scores
- A Second Essay
- Letters of Recommendation
- Writing/Art samples
- A document outlining sports/extracurricular activities in more detail
Be sure to only submit what the college asks for. Sometimes submitting additional information that isn’t asked for can actually hurt your admissions chances. Admissions officers know what they need and what they look for — so keep your additional materials aligned with those criteria.
The Common App is definitely a great tool for students. Now you know how it works. So it’s your turn to make it happen — best of luck!