What is a Common Application for College?

Common ApplicationIf you want to apply for a handful of colleges, but do not want to submit several individual application, you should consider filling out the Common Application for college. The Common Application was created in an effort to make applying for college much easier for prospective students. Since most school counselors recommend that students apply to at least 5 to 8 colleges that satisfy your needs, the process can be a daunting one, according to the College Board.

Many students who are using traditional college applications will actually focus more on quantity than quality because they want to secure their chances of gaining acceptance to at least one or two good schools. Luckily, this advanced and much more convenient application makes it possible to focus more time on the areas of the application that matter so that you can strengthen your chances of getting into your ‘reach’ schools instead of having to resort to the safety schools on your list. Read on and learn more about how this application works.

Fill Out Your Profile and Add Multiple Member Schools

One of the most frustrating things about the college application is that all forms are going to ask you for the same bits of personal information. It may be simple questions or more detailed questions where you must provide phones numbers or addresses. Luckily, the Common Application only asks you to provide your information once, so that you can focus on specific requirements that need your attention.

Once you fill out the personal information requested, you will be ready to apply to several of the 500+ member schools, according to Forbes. Since not all schools are on the list, you should take the time to look for those that are first before doing a separate application. If you would like to use different personal statements for different schools, you can create different versions of accounts.

Submitting Your Admissions Essay

Another benefit of using the Common Application is that you can submit a single personal essay. The application will have a topic of choice section where you will select a prompt and then write your paper based on the prompt. It is important to generalize the response so that admissions councils from several different colleges can review it and see the picture you are painting. Ideally, you should only need to upload one universal essay. It is important that you know that you may have to write supplemental essays if this is required by the schools that you have selected.

Colleges Take a More Holistic Approach to Admissions

It is easy to understand why so much emphasis is placed on testing well on the SATs While, your standardized test scores are important, members schools that can receive Common Application submissions must take a more holistic approach to evaluating students, according to College Data. In addition to looking at your test scores, the schools must look at your GPA, your recommendations, what makes you diverse, community involvement, extracurricular activities and more.

Enter all of your personal information and your academic stats into your Common Application profile. Once you answer the personal questions and complete your essay you will be one step closer to applying for school. Be sure that you know what documents are required when you submit your Common Application for college and then wait for that special letter in the mail.

Related Resource: Reflecting Your Strengths in a College Application