The Common App — The Basics

Over 700 colleges and universities currently use the Common Application, and chances are that every junior applying to college will use the “Common App”.  It’s a great idea to become familiar with this application now, so you’re ready to get started when it becomes available on 1 August.
Eight colleges here in Colorado accept the Common App:  University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Denver, Colorado College, Regis University, Western State University, Naropa University and Johnson and Wales University.  Using the Common App makes applying to many colleges more streamlined and organized.

Why should students use the Common App?  Colleges require extensive information from students during the application process.  Filling out details about demographics, background, transcripts, activities, and SAT/ACT testing just one time, rather than over and over again on numerous different applications, makes this process easier for students.

Every college participating in the Common App has agreed to accept the Common App essay – a big advantage for students. There are seven different prompts available to students, so there is an option for everyone.  While many colleges also require a second, school-specific essay in addition to the primary essay, using the Common App is still a time saver.

Students can also request letters of recommendation through the Common App (and recommenders can send their letters directly back to Common App).  Some schools prefer to use the Naviance system to request recommendations, but that option is available.

So, on August 1 (on the day when the Common App opens for the new application year), we recommend that every rising senior go to  Open an account, and start your application!  Getting a head start on this process will definitely pay off!

Pat Davis, BS, MS, IEC
Co-owner Monumental Beginnings
Specializing in College Admission Counseling