The Ultimate Common App Review: All You Need to Know

Confused about the Common App? Wondering how it works and what’s involved? If you’re seeking a Common App review that answers your burning questions, you’ve landed on the right page.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll address FAQs about the Common App, providing insights into its process and tips for a successful application. Whether you’re a high school senior or a curious parent, read on to demystify the Common App and gain the clarity you need to navigate this crucial step toward your dream college.

Without further ado, let’s dive into our Common App review.

The Common App Review (FAQs and Answers)

Common App Review
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What are Common Apps?

“Common App” typically refers to the Common Application, a widely used college application platform in the U.S. and some other countries. The Common App is a non-profit organization that provides a standardized application form and online platform for students applying to multiple colleges and universities.

This platform streamlines the application process, as students can fill out one application and then submit it to multiple institutions.

The Common App includes various sections such as personal information, academic history, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. This allows students to present a comprehensive picture of themselves to colleges and universities they are applying to.

Is Common App free?

Yes, using the Common App is generally free for students!

The organization behind the Common App aims to provide a user-friendly and standardized application process for college admissions, and they do not charge students for using their platform to apply to multiple colleges and universities.

However, there might be some nominal fees associated with certain aspects of the application process. For example, some colleges might require payment of an application fee as part of their admission process.

Additionally, there could be optional fees for services like sending standardized test scores or receiving additional score reports.

Is Common App only for privates?

No, the Common App is not exclusively for private colleges and universities.

While it’s true that many private institutions accept the Common App, numerous public universities and colleges also participate in the Common App system.

The Common App was initially adopted by a group of private colleges and universities to simplify the application process for students. However, over the years, its popularity has grown, and many public institutions, both within the U.S. and some from outside, have joined the Common App network.

Which schools use Common App?

A large number of colleges and universities in the U.S. and some other countries use the Common App. The list of participating institutions can change from year to year, so we recommend visiting the official Common App website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of schools that use the Common App.

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To find out which schools use the Common App, you can visit the Common App website and navigate to the “Explore” section. There, you can browse and filter colleges based on various criteria, including whether they accept the Common App.

When are Common Apps due?

The deadlines for submitting the Common App vary depending on the individual colleges and universities to which you’re applying. Different institutions have different application deadlines, which can include:

  • Early Decision/Early Action: These are typically earlier deadlines, usually in November or December. Early Action is non-binding and allows you to apply to multiple schools early.
  • Regular Decision: These deadlines are often in January or February. Decisions are typically released in the spring.
  • Rolling Admission: Some schools have a rolling admission process. These deadlines can extend from the fall through the spring.
  • Specific Program Deadlines: Some colleges have specific application deadlines for certain programs, majors, or scholarships. Make sure to check if the schools you’re interested in have any program-specific deadlines.

When should I make a Common App account?

It’s recommended to create your Common App account in the summer before your senior year of high school, if possible. This gives you plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the platform, understand the application requirements, and work on your application materials.

If your chosen colleges require letters of recommendation, you’ll need to request them from teachers, counselors, or other individuals. Make sure to give your recommenders ample time to write and submit their letters.

The good news is, our guide on how to write a good letters of recommendation can assist your teachers or counselors in creating one in no time!

6. Test Scores

If required, arrange for your standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, etc.) to be sent to your chosen schools.

Creating a Common App account doesn’t commit you to submitting applications. You can work on your application over time and submit it before the respective deadlines.

What is the Common App fee waiver?

The Common App fee waiver is a mechanism that helps students who might face financial barriers to higher education by allowing them to apply to colleges and universities without paying the application fee.

Many colleges and universities charge an application fee, which can vary in cost, and these fees can add up if a student is applying to multiple institutions.

This fee waiver is designed to assist students who meet certain criteria and demonstrate financial need.

If you qualify for a Common App fee waiver, you can apply to a certain number of colleges using the Common App without having to pay the application fee for each institution.

Eligibility requirements for fee waivers may vary depending on the college or university, but they generally consider factors such as family income, participation in government assistance programs, or other financial hardships.

Is Common App reliable?

Yes, the Common App is generally considered to be a reliable and widely used platform for college applications. It has been used by millions of students to apply to colleges and universities in the U.S. and other countries.

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The Common App offers several benefits that contribute to its reputation for reliability:

  1. Standardized application process
  2. User-friendly interface
  3. Comprehensive information
  4. Efficient submission
  5. Wide range of participating institutions
  6. Fee waiver options
  7. Support resources

While the Common App is generally reliable, as with any online platform, it’s essential to take certain precautions:

  • Double-check your application for accuracy before submission.
  • Pay attention to individual college deadlines and requirements within the Common App.
  • Keep track of your login credentials to access your account.
  • Contact the Common App support if you encounter any technical issues or have questions.

Can Common App be used for grad school?

The Common App primarily serves undergraduate college and university applications. It is not commonly used for graduate school admissions.

Graduate school applications typically have different requirements, such as specialized recommendation letters, research proposals, portfolios, and other materials specific to the program of study.

Most graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral programs, have their own application processes and requirements that are distinct from undergraduate admissions.

These processes may vary widely between institutions and even between different programs within the same institution.

Can you lie on Common App? What happens if you lie on Common App?

No, you should not lie on the Common App or any other college application. Lying or providing false information on your application is not only unethical but can have serious consequences that can negatively impact your chances of admission and your future academic pursuits.

If you’re caught lying after being admitted to a college or university, the institution has the right to revoke your admission offer. This can happen even after you’ve started classes, causing you to be expelled.

Moreover, lying on your application can damage your reputation and the trust that others have in you. This can impact your relationships with teachers, mentors, and future employers.

Some institutions also consider lying on an application a violation of their honor code or code of conduct. In extreme cases, this could lead to legal action.

How many colleges can I apply to on Common App?

The Common App allows you to add up to 20 colleges to your “My Colleges” list. This means you can apply to up to 20 different colleges using the Common App platform. Keep in mind that this limit includes both early decision/early action and regular decision applications.

It’s worth noting that while the Common App allows you to apply to up to 20 colleges, it’s not a requirement to apply to that many. You can apply to as few or as many colleges as you choose, based on your preferences, qualifications, and interests.

How many Common App essays are required?

The Common App requires you to write one main essay, often referred as the “Personal Statement.” In addition to the main essay, some colleges might have supplemental essay questions that are specific to their institution.

These supplemental essays are often shorter in length and are designed to help the college learn more about your fit with their school and your specific interests.

How long can Common App essay be?

The length limit for the main Common App essay (Personal Statement) is 650 words. This includes any formatting, spaces, and other characters that you use in your essay.

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The 650-word limit provides you with a reasonable amount of space to effectively convey your ideas, experiences, and personality to the admissions committee.

Should Common App essays be formal?

Common App essays should generally be written in a formal and professional tone, but they should also reflect your authentic voice and personality. The goal of the essay is to provide the admissions committee with insight into who you are as a person, your experiences, perspectives, and aspirations.

Which Common App essay prompt is the most popular?

Here are a few prompts that have been historically popular:

Prompt 1: “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”

This prompt allows applicants to share a significant aspect of their background, identity, or experiences. It’s popular because it invites students to tell a unique and personal story that can help the admissions committee understand them better.

Prompt 4: “Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.”

This prompt is appealing because it encourages applicants to showcase their problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. It also provides an opportunity to highlight personal values and passions.

Prompt 7: “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.”

This open-ended prompt is popular because it allows students to write about a topic that truly resonates with them. It’s a chance to showcase creativity, unique perspectives, and the ability to engage the reader.

Does Common App require letters of recommendation?

The Common App does not require letters of recommendations as a mandatory component of the application. However, many colleges and universities that accept the Common App do request or require letters of recommendations as part of their application process.

Therefore, the decisions to include letters of recommendation in your application varies from institution to institution. Some colleges make letters of recommendation optional, while others consider them a mandatory part of the application.

If you’re applying to colleges through the Common App and the schools you’re interested in require letters of recommendation, you’ll need to follow their specific guidelines for submitting them.

Does Common App tell you if you got accepted?

No, the Common App review does not notify you if you have been accepted or rejected by the colleges you applied to.

The Common App is a platform that allows you to submit your application materials to multiple colleges and universities, but it does not handle the decision-making process.

The colleges and universities you applied to through the Common App will be responsible for reviewing your application. They will then make their admission decisions based on their individual criteria and processes.

Notification of admission decisions usually comes directly from the colleges themselves, not from the Common App. Once the admission committees have made their decisions, the respective colleges will inform you about whether you’ve been accepted, waitlisted, or deferred (learn the differences here).

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Common App doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. Armed with the insights from our Common App review, you’re equipped to embark on a confident journey towards your desired college.

But why stop here? For more expert guides and insider tips, bookmark our website. Our wealth of resources is tailored to make your college application process seamless and successful.

Whether it’s mastering the Common App or acing interviews, we’re your partner in achieving your academic dreams. Don’t wait; explore Scholarship Story now and take your college aspirations to new heights with our trusted Common App review.

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