What is Common App?

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CommonApp, StudyUSA, College Applications, College Admissions, University Applications, University Admissions

02/06/2023

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What is Common App?

The Common Application, also commonly referred to as the “Common App”, is a membership organization that operates as a non-profit and provides a platform for students to submit applications for undergraduate college admissions in the US. Both national and international students are able to submit their applications to over 900 colleges and universities that are members of the platform in the United States as well as in a number of other countries. In 1975, a standardized application known as the Common Application was developed with the goals of streamlining the college admissions process and ensuring that all students, regardless of their personal circumstances, had equal access to educational opportunities. 

The Common Application is a straightforward and time-saving means of submitting a college application. Students may save both time and money by applying to many institutions using the same application, which is becoming increasingly common. Students get access to a number of resources, such as information on universities, financial assistance, and the process of applying to college, when they use the Common Application. Students need to register for a Common Application account and fill out the application form in order to use the Common Application. On the application form, there are questions on the student's previous academic performance, their extracurricular activities, and their personal statement. The Common Application also allows students to upload letters of recommendation and scores from standardized tests. Here’s a quick summary of what you can do with the Common App.

  • Academic History 
    • In this section, students are asked to provide information about their high school, including the name and address of the school, the date on which they expect to graduate, and a list of the classes that they have already completed.
  • Activities and Honors
    • In this section, students have the opportunity to include their extracurricular activities, leadership roles, honors or awards, and other accolades. Students should take advantage of this chance to emphasize their engagement in activities outside of the classroom.
  • Application Fee
    • The usage of the Common Application platform does not cost anything; nevertheless, the majority of member institutions demand an application fee to be paid in order to submit an application.
  • College Essays
    • The Common Application includes questions for you to consider when writing your personal essay. Because it provides admissions authorities with a look into the student's personality, unique experiences, and areas of interest, this section of the application is commonly regarded as one of the most crucial portions of the application.
  • College-Specific Supplements and Essays
    • Some colleges and universities ask applicants to submit supplemental essays or answers to short-answer questions in addition to the main application. These supplements are unique to each educational establishment, and they give the school the opportunity to acquire extra information about the applicant.
  • General Applicant Information
    • Information about the general applicant comprises the applicant's name, residence, date of birth, and any other demographic information that may be requested.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Students have the opportunity to seek letters of reference from their instructors, counselors, and other individuals using the Common Application's online platform. These letters may give more insight into the student's character, accomplishments, and potential.
  • Test Scores
    • Even though many colleges and universities in the US adopted a test-blind policy due to the 2019 COVID-19 Pandemic, we still strongly recommend you to sit standardized tests as your test scores may help you to get ahead of your peers during the admissions process. Common App allows students to submit their standardized test scores (SAT/ACT).

Always be sure to verify the exact admission criteria of each individual college that you are applying to, as some of them may have additional materials or unique needs that must be met. In addition to this, it is essential to stay on top of the dates; the application deadlines for each institution may be different. The Common Application, as a system, is always available beginning on August 1 of each year. Although the specific dates are subject to change, the deadlines for early action and early decisions are normally in the month of November, while the deadlines for regular decisions are typically in the month of January. There are a number of different application methods that are utilized by colleges and universities in addition to the Common Application. These include the Coalition Application, the Universal College Application, and applications that are customized to certain schools. Students should do some research to determine which application is most appropriate for them given their experiences and the schools in which they are interested.

Last but not least, here are some quick up-to-date facts and details about the Common Application:

  • The application fee is $75 for the 2023-2024 application cycle.
  • The application deadline is January 1 for early decision and November 1 for regular decision.
  • Students can apply to up to 20 schools with one Common Application.
  • The Common Application is available in English and Spanish.


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