The Common App is a non-profit membership organization representing more than 1,000 diverse institutions of higher education, public and private colleges and universities across all 50 U.S. states, and 20 countries.
Applying with the Common App
To complete the Common App you will need:
High School Information- CEEB Code, GPA scale, and class rank reporting
Unofficial High School Transcripts
SAT/ACT Test Scores, optional
Social Security Number, if you have one
Family Information- parents and siblings, if applicable
Payment Method (Debit or Credit Card)- Some schools may charge $35-$75 or more, but other schools do not charge a fee. Fee Waivers are also available
How to Apply
Create an account- Select "first-year student"
Add Colleges- Search for your colleges and click the "Add to My Colleges", you can see added colleges on yout Dashboard and My Colleges tab
Engage Supporters- All colleges will need official school forms and many will also ask for letters of recommendation. The following are the recommenders your can invite in the Common App: Counselors, Parents, Teachers, Adviors, and other Recommenders
Stay organized and keep track of each college's application varying requirements: Deadlines, Personal Essay, Courses & Grades, Test Policy, Portfolio, Writing Supplements, and Recommendations
Plan essays- Common App Personal Essay, College-specific Questions, and Writing Supplements
Review and Submit Your Application
Common App Tips & Resources
My College Requirments Worksheet
Use this worksheet to collect the requirements of the colleges on your list. This way you have all the
information in one place when you need it.
FERPA & Your Application
To invite your counselor and recommenders, Common App will prompt you to complete the FERPA Release Authorization. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a law that protects the privacy of your education records.
Fees & Fee Waivers
An application fee is a fee that a college charges for applying to their institution. Each college can choose how much to charge, if at all. A fee waiver lets you apply to a college without paying an application fee.
Telling Your Story
The Common App essay instructions ask you what you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores. You have 7 prompts but endless possibilities to tell your story.
In the Activities section you have the chance to tell colleges more about who you are outside the classroom. Use this section to highlight activities most meaningful to you throughout high school.
Understanding Testing Section
The Testing section lets you self-report scores of any standardized tests you’ve taken. Each college and university can choose their own testing policy
Applying to Scholarships
Common App has made it easy for applicants to access scholarship opportunities directly through your admissions application. They’ve partnered with College Board’s Big Future Scholarship Search to give you the option to connect your information with Scholarship Search!
Student Brag Sheet for Counselors
Brag sheets are a way for you to help your counselor write letters of rec. These forms give them more insight into who you are outside of school and your interests. Fill out these forms, and share them with your counselor when you ask them for a letter of recommendation!
Student Brag Sheet for Teachers
Complete this form to help your teacher write a letter of rec on your behalf. Keep in mind, the more specific the details you can give, the more personal and effective your recommendation will be. Don’t forget to take the time to thank your teacher!