When you are planning to get into a university to get a degree, most of you will want to apply to more than one college or university. And applying is the first step on your road to higher education. Don’t let the application process overwhelm you or become a stumbling block. There are online tools to make that first step easier. One of the most useful steps in this direction is using the Common Application.

Seize it all with the Common App!

You have probably heard of the Latin expression “Carpe diem.” In English, this means “Seize the day.” When applying to institutions of higher learning, the Common Application allows you to “Carpe Omnia” – “Seize it all!”

Applying to multiple colleges can be time consuming and intimidating. Each university has its own application criteria. Every year universities add more complexity to their application process. More and more, you are competing against other students, which, in itself, adds additional stress. The Common Application is designed to simplify the application process by allowing you to submit one application that is accepted by multiple schools.

What is the Common Application?

Common Application is a non-profit organization of almost 900 colleges and universities dedicated to lowering the barriers to college access by streamlining the application process.

Their website allows you to submit one application that can automatically be transmitted to multiple universities. This innovative tool will enable students to apply to their choice of almost 900 schools with a single application, making the college application process straightforward, simpler, and more efficient.

Common App Fee

The Common App process is free to use, but every college charges its application processing fee. It is usually $30 to $75 for U.S. applicants and more for international applicants. You can generally apply for a fee waiver if you need one..

When does the Common App open?

The Common App is open for applications every year on August 1st. The application deadline depends on whether you are applying for an early decision (usually November 1st) or a regular decision (ordinarily January 1st). You should be aware that each school may also have its own deadline. Please check the deadlines for each college you are applying to.

How to apply for college using the Common App?

Start by Creating a Common App Account

You create an account with an e-mail address and password. Then a few questions about who you are (student, parent, teacher, or counselor) and when you’re applying to college.

Search for Common Application Member Schools

Review Required Admission Information

Assemble the General Information You Will Need

Start Filling Out Your Application

Start Your Common Application Essay

Track Your Application Status

Remember to Submit

Common App Schools – What universities use the Common Application?

Nearly 900 colleges and universities are members of Common Application. They strive for access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Membership in Common Application is open to colleges that share the mission of advancing college access. All members must be:

  • Not-for-profit
  • Undergraduate degree-granting
  • Accredited by an association recognized by either CHEA or U.S. Department of Education
  • If located outside the U.S., a member of the Council of International Schools
  • Committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process

Can we use the Common App for graduate programs?

No. The Common app is designed for only undergraduate programs. You can start your search for specific colleges and universities that are members, by the name of the institution, or you can use multiple criteria:

  • Accepts first-year applications
  • Accepts transfer applications
  • Public or Private
  • Small (under 2,000) / Medium / Large (over 15,000)
  • Rural / Suburban / Urban
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