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What You Should Know on Common Application

April 11, 2019

College application may be extremely stressful for both students and their families. They have to cope with numerous other assignments, like preparing for an SAT, visiting colleges and sending applications to a number of other educational institutions.

The Common application is meant to simplify the admission to schools and make the whole process more unified. They are now accepted in more than eight hundred schools in the US and outside the country.

The approach allows the students to apply to a number of schools at once. Students are responsible for filling out the form with their personal information, including full name, home address, information about their high school and extracurricular activities they were involved in.

The purpose for creating the common application was an attempt to make the application process fast and straightforward. Though the whole team of the Common application did their best to make the whole process rather simple, some families may still struggle with it. We have prepared some tips that will help get acquainted with the common app.

How does the System Work?

The common app simplifies the application process and makes it accessible for both students and their families. Students get an opportunity to provide all the information about themselves and their academic experience in a single database.  Many schools already use it or accept this type of application; therefore, the common app is becoming more and more popular among school students. You may find the step-by-step-process of filling out the app below.

What Should You Know about the Common App?

The Common App is a unified online application developed to simplify the application process. Instead of filling out numerous applications for every school, students can apply to various schools using their Common App account. Still, do not postpone everything till the last moment, as some schools will ask for an additional application form that provides specific information, which may not be stated in the general application form.

How to Fill out the Common Application?

  • Step 1 – Create your personal account at commonapp.org.
  • Step 2 – Fill out the form with general information about yourself.
  • Step 3 – Upload any additional information that may be required by a specific college.

When to Begin Working on College App?

The company releases a new common app edition on August each year. But a person can register a new account at any time. The transfer of data from the old to new application takes just a couple minutes.

The registration process starts at an official web-site commonapp.org. There you may find a GET STARTED section. There you will get the information on how to create your personal account and how to work with it.  There is also a mobile app that makes it easier for students to track any deadlines.

The developers recommend activating your common app account during your junior year. Thus, you will have a chance to work with the app and fill out all the information with no hurry.

School counsellors recommend students to register the common app account at the beginning of August. Starting from mid-August or September, they will be overwhelmed with numerous home assignments and group projects, which leaves too little time to work with the common application. Early discovery, allows students to examine the requirements set by various schools from their personal list. In this way, students get an opportunity to devote more time to drafting admission essays.

Besides, you will be well aware of what needs to be done and what documents you will need at the start of the school year.

How to Fill Out the Common Application?

The amount of time needed to fill out the whole application will depend on the school. But according to experts, students will need at least six to eight weeks to gather all the materials needed for a proper application. On average, it will take around 2 weeks to complete the section with the background information. The other four to six weeks shall be used to upload additional information, like common app recommendations, etc.

Some colleges will ask for parental data, including their employment information and their educational background. Many schools will also ask their applicants to provide transcripts. Both transcripts and recommendations cannot be obtained in a day; that is why professionals suggest doing everything beforehand. A mobile application allows tracking your common app deadline.

Students may also be asked for a recommendation letter during their junior year. By this moment the teacher possesses all the information needed for this letter. Besides, teachers will have extra time to prepare a recommendation without need to hurry. If you are a senior already, then try to ask your teacher or counsellor for a recommendation as early as possible.  

Common Application Mistakes

  • Write down the account information.

Many students create an account, enter all the data, but when the time comes, they cannot log in their account as they do not remember the password or the user name. Make sure you remember them or have this information written down, otherwise you will have to start the whole process from the very beginning.

  • Follow the prompts

Try to work in a quiet place. Avoid any distractions, as you need to understand all the questions properly. Be sure to provide straightforward answers to the set questions.

  • Fulfil the most complicated tasks first

You may need to use recommendations from your teachers or your counsellor. Give them enough time to complete these letters. They will need to find an extra opportunity to help you, so make sure they will not have to do this in a rush. Besides, you will need time to upload these recommendations afterwards.