The Common Application: Your ticket to college, or is it?

college campus The Common Application can make your life a little easier. There are 415 schools in 44 states that will accept this time-saving application and chances are, at least one college you're applying to accepts it. It’s meant to streamline the admissions process by enabling you to send the same application to multiple schools.


Where and when to get it. The Common Application gets a few updates or minor changes every year. The updated paper application is usually available on August 1st. However, the online version is constantly updated so you can fill that out whenever you want. Click here to get your common application (paper or online version).

What to do if a school also has their own application. Some schools accept either the Common App or their own application. While it may be tempting to send out the Common App to every school that accepts it, this might not always be the best strategy. In the book College Admissions Trade Secrets, Andrew Allen explains that colleges that accept both prefer their own. This shows you are genuinely interested in their school instead of taking the easy way out.


Other uses. Even if you’re applying to a school that doesn’t accept the Common App, it could still help you get organized. By filling it out, you automatically have all your important information in one spot. This makes it easier to have someone help you with your applications. You could also give a copy to someone you’re asking for a recommendation. And who knows, maybe you’ll want to apply to a school last minute. You’ll be glad you were prepared.

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