What is a Common App? 

21K School · Feb 8, 2023 · 4 min read

Common App

Going through all university applications can be a tedious and overwhelming task. Each application is filled with extensive information, which makes the entire process time-consuming. This is where the common app enters to simplify the process by offering a singular pace to the input of basic application information. Let’s dive into the basics of the common application, what it is and how it works. Here it is! 

Introduction to Common Application 

The common application, better known as the common app, is an online application form designed to gather all necessary information in one place, allowing you to fill out only one application form which rotates in different universities. When creating an account on the common app, you mention all general information such as name, extracurriculars, address, test scores and GPA. 

Over 900 schools and universities in the United States accept the common application. Although this app is widely accepted worldwide, several colleges still allow students to submit their admission forms through universal College Application and Coalition Application. 

When does the common application open? 

On August 1st, the common application opens. This means that no student can submit an admission form to the college before this date. However, you can work on the common app before it begins so that you have enough time in hand. Application dates may differ based on your university or the school. However, it generally remains somewhere between December and January. 

How does the common application work? 

The common application is a widely accepted app where you can create your account, monitor deadlines, track progress and look for financial aid. It is extremely easy to operate and hassle-free. The best part is that it is 100% free to build your profile on the common application. 

Note, there are some universities which charge a certain amount of fees as well. Once you have created a profile on the common app, it’s time to pick your favourite university from a wide range of options available. Once the university is selected, the common application gives you a fair chance to review and monitor the application requirements, progress and deadlines. 

When is the common application due? 

At times, university application deadlines can be confusing and brainstorming. Based on when you’re trying to apply for a school or university, the deadline keeps on changing. When you go on the common application, there are primarily three deadline options. If you’re applying in advance, you can choose between Early Action and Early Decision. The deadline for this is mostly November 1st. 

If you’re applying early, the best option is the Early Decision or Early Action. In this case, if you manage to crack the round, your spots are secured by mid-December. If you do not want to apply early, January 1st is the general deadline for all. You can easily track all deadlines on the common app and make decisions accordingly. 

How to fill out the common application 

Once you’ve learned all the basics of the common application, it’s time to know the process to fill out your common application. Here it is – 

1. Gather all information 

The first step is to gather all information. Before creating your profile on the common application, review all your details to ensure you have everything. Important information such as transcripts, personal and parental information, test scores, achievements, and letters of recommendation needs to be handy. 

2. Create your profile on the common app 

Once you’ve successfully gathered all information, it’s time to create your profile on the common application. There are different registration types on the common app, such as first-time, transfer, or international students. If applying for an undergraduate degree, click on the First-Time Student tab. 

3. Choose your school or university

Once your account is created on the app, you will come across a wide range of school or university options to choose from. Since the app has more than 900 universities, it might be confusing to pick the best one at first. Once your school list is finalized, move on to the next step. We suggest you add at least 10-15 schools to your list. 

4. Understand all university requirements 

All universities have different requirements; hence it is important to research well. Review all requirements along with your program requirements. 

 5. Get started with your personal statement

Organise your thoughts about yourself and start writing your statement. When writing about your topic, be passionate about it

6. Start your application 

Start writing your application. Fill in all required details, extracurricular lists, and teacher recommendations. 

7. Track your progress 

With the common application, you can easily track your progress and meet deadlines. There are green checks which indicate the completed tasks. 

8. Submit application 

The last step is to submit the application to your desired university. 

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