The Common Application was started 35 years ago, according to the website. The app’s purpose is to make the application process more simple and reliable by cuttingdown the monotonous busywork that comes with each application. For instance, with the common app, you only ever have to enter your biographical details, contact information and extracurricular activities one time, even if you apply to 50 schools.
The common app is currently accepted by more than 450 schools, click here to view the list of members. Each school evaluates their applicants from a holistic perspective, and using the app can save a busy high school student a lot of time on their applications.
The College Solution recently published a list of eleven things Scott Anderson, the director of outreach at The Common Application, Inc. says each student should know as they begin filling out their common apps.
1. You can create more than one application
In fact, the article states that you can create up to 10 apps.
2. You can upload a new essay
It’s simple to create an alternate an updated version of your essay, but The College Solution warns that you should NOT tailor your essay to each school. That’s the purpose of the supplemental questions that many schools will ask you to fill out.
3. Watch the essay word count
Make sure you don’t exceed the word count. As the article points out, the app can’t limit your word count, but you should stick to the specified range. Your university won’t be fooled.
4. You don’t need to update an application to add the latest ACT or SAT scores
All of the information about past tests and future tests is already on your app. Colleges already know what to expect from you. So just make sure you send them a copy of your scores.
5. Don’t Forget to Preview
Once you submit your application it is officially out of your hands. You can’t fix it. So, take a second to look over the preview and see what the schools will see.
6. Make sure you really did submit the application
The College Solution warns that the application, supplement, and payment submissions are three different parts of the application. You must complete all three before the application will actually be submitted. Check your My Colleges page to see the updated status of all your applications.
7. Communicate with your high school Counselor.
You need to coordinate with your counselor and make sure that you’re both submitting your forms in the same way. According to The College Solution if your counselor submits their forms online they will not arrive at the college unless you submit the Common App. If you choose to apply through an alternate application your counselor needs to know ahead of time.
8. Online and snail mail can be mixed
If your counselor is mailing their forms you can submit online. It doesn’t matter what order the forms are received.
9. If you don’t know, ask
The Common Application’s Support Center is there for you. Take advantage of it.
10. Low-income students can obtain fee waivers for their applications
College Board and NACAC fee waivers are accepted by all colleges that use the Common App. Students who meet the criteria should indicate their intention to submit a fee waiver in the payment section according to the article.
11. Its best not to wait until the last minute to apply
According to Anderson, December 31 is the busiest day of the year for the Common Apps. Although the system hasn’t crashed or slowed in the past there is no guarantee the support team will be able to help students with every problem before their deadline. So, start early and get everything done in time.
To read the complete article click here.
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