Your Guide to the Common Application

The Common Application is an online college application system used by hundreds of colleges and universities. It allows students to conveniently fill out their standard information one time for Common App schools – rather than filling out a dozen applications, this is one app for each school! The Common App dashboard also allows students to keep track of important documents and deadlines.

The Common Application officially opens for application submissions on August 1st, but did you know you can already start on your account to make it easier on yourself come submission time? We would recommend doing so!

So here’s everything you need to know about the Common App from the Princeton Review:

1. Who uses the Common App?

There are a variety of colleges and universities that use the Common App – and by variety, we mean over 700 schools! These colleges range from private universities, to public schools, to out-of-state colleges. CPE can clarify which colleges use the Common App and how to differ your application per school.

2. When is the Common App due?

The deadlines for your Common Application vary per school. Typically, students can apply Early Decision, which usually falls on November 1st, or Regular Decision, which is usually January 1st. There are other deadlines, as well, depending on the university!

3. What does the Common App entail?

The Common Application covers standard student information (i.e. home address, GPA, extracurriculars, etc.), as well as an essay submitted to all schools you’re applying to via the Common App. Some universities will also require supplemental questions or essays.

4. How much does the Common App cost?

The online program itself is free for students to use! However, each college requires an application processing fee.

5. Now that you know everything about the Common App, the next question is how to actually apply to colleges with it? Here are step-by-step instructions:

1. Create an account: Using your email address, you’ll be able to create a username and password.

2. Add in schools you want to apply to (that accept the Common Application): A lot of universities have their own application system!

3. Understand the admissions requirements for each school you’re applying to via the Common App: You’ll technically use the same application for each college you’re applying to, but each college may have different admissions requirements.

4. Gather the information you know you’ll need for your Common App: This will include a list of your extracurriculars, transcripts, work history, family information, etc.

5. Start working on your application!

6. Track the status of your apps: Make sure you’re completing each section as you go.

7. Submit!


Create your Common Application account TODAY! Call us today to help your family decide which schools to apply to and to get help on each college application.

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