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Students about to enter university have many unfamiliar responsibilities. Besides discovering their passion and interest in pursuing their university education, if students opt for it, selecting the universities to apply to and then the awesome application process, it will be done with the help of the Common Application Form.
The online combined application form is like a one-stop shop like Walmart’s college application option. You can access undergraduate applications in over 800 member colleges in the USA, across the majority of states, as well as universities in Canada, China and Europe (64 international institutes).
The Common Application Form for Admission is maintained by a non-profit organization and aims not only to provide convenience to students but also to make the process fair and accessible so that more students feel satisfied with their higher education.
The process has a built-in tool to help students in need of financial aid and scholarships, career counseling, and other resources. It is available to both first-time applicants and transfer students.
It is estimated that more than 3 million high school students, teachers, and counselors use the online common application form annually worldwide.
What is the common application form?
The Common Application is a progressive college application used to help prospective college students apply to multiple institutions simultaneously. While you cannot apply to every accredited institution/university with this single online application, you can apply to a large number of UG programs around the world.
If you are about to apply to college and want to find the most effective way to improve your ability to get accepted into more than one school, this article will help you with that.
Schools in the Common Application System:
There are a few member schools on the list including big names like:
- Harvard university
- Boston University
- Stanford University
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Columbia University
There are also many top universities like MIT that do not use the Common Application.
Colleges insist that students apply through only one portal for the semester. That is, if the student intends to apply on the university website directly, then that university should not be selected in the Common Application, and vice versa. In other words, there is only one application per college from one student.
Common Application Sections:
- Profile Section: As the name suggests, it is about details like name, contact information, nationality, etc. This should be filled out carefully as all future correspondence will be made based on the details provided here.
- Family section: This section includes a description of your family and household.
- Education section: high school grades and courses and possibly a copy of your transcript. Keep a copy on hand to fill out this section. Parts like school name, counselor information, previous schools, gap years, college courses if any, GPA, class order, etc. are part of education. The site states that it is not necessary to fill in professional interests if you are not sure.
- Test section: College entrance tests such as ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE (read TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE) for non-native speakers of English, and subject tests such as AP, IB, SAT Subject Tests or A-Level – go here. These scores are self-reported. You will have to submit the official results when they are available. You can also schedule future exams if you haven’t taken them yet. Indicates that no test-relevant information is supposed to be a complete set per se, without test scores. International students can report school leaving scores. For example, Senior Secondary Results in case of Indian Students.
- Activities section: You can list up to 10 activities with a description, within the specified word limit.
- Writing section: Contains three subsections – a personal essay that generally suggests prompts within the system to help students understand what is expected in the essay, a disciplinary history where you can provide explanations for any disciplinary issue in your past, and finally additional information where you can choose to share other relevant data link but not yet submitted.
Besides the above, you will get a chance to report your transcripts for all high school grades and any other college questions or supplements.
More than 250 member universities, in the Common Application Universities, do not require an application fee and this information is clearly mentioned in the college search. However, there is a filing fee for the rest.
The good news is that the Common Application has a feature whereby students with financial constraints can choose to waive the application fee, provided they meet one of the following:
Students enrolled in the free or discounted federal food program, where annual household income falls within the range defined by the USDA and Nutrition Service, are low income.
This application fee waiver has been active in supporting more than one million applicants who receive more than $55 million in fee waivers. Students can request a waiver of the general application fee in the profile section mentioned above.
Individual colleges also have potential fee-waiver schemes. Financially vulnerable students may also request the NACAC Application Fee Waiver form to apply to the college. This helps with access to financial aid and the free college application.
Where you can apply:
The Common Application Form is more than just an online college admissions form, it is a means that can be used to help students increase their chances of getting into school without wasting all their free time filling out multiple applications. In order to use this Common Application form for admission to the Degree College to your advantage, you must wish to attend a member college or university.
There are currently over 600 member schools accepting online application from the United States and 14 other countries including Austria, Canada, France, Korea, Germany, Italy and China.
The method of filling out the joint application form is very simple, you need to fill in your application and select the option of schools to which you want to submit your application from the list. Keep in mind that the application process will vary for each school, including fees and deadlines.
How to apply to the joint application colleges:
1. Create a Shared Application Account: To get started you need an email address. You will be prompted to create an account with a login and password and you will also need to answer some quick questions about who you are (your parent, teacher, or counselor) and when to apply to college.
2. Confirm which of the schools on your list accept the Common Application Form: As we said before, all schools accept the Common Application Form. You can ask colleges to fill out their own college application form or use another common application system such as the Texas Colleges of Texas Application.
3. Check all admission information for each school: Remember that general application schools can have different requirements for the test, writing, essay, and letter of recommendation. Make sure to do your research! You will use the same Common College application form but admission requirements may vary from school to school.
4. Collect the information you know you will need: Gather all the information regarding your parent or guardian’s educational background and work history, a copy of your high school transcript, a list of your syllabus, etc. As most of the applicant asks for a copy of your high school transcript.
5. Start working on your application: The Common Admission Form dashboard will display a list of all colleges and the status of each component of your application. You can choose an essay topic, start filling in general information, or you can also ask the teacher for a letter of recommendation. No online college application assignment is too big or small!
6. Track the status of your application(s): The icons on the dashboard will guide you to a better way. There are three types of verification on the application form – green indicates that your application has been submitted to that particular college, yellow circle means your application is still in progress, and red means that a particular department is not required for admission to that college.
7. Submit: Submit all application-related materials by 11:59 PM (in your local time zone) on the deadline date posted on the Common App Dashboard.
Important things to know about the Common Application:
1. You can create more than one application.
2- See the word count of the article.
2. You can upload a new article.
3- Make sure you have already submitted your application.
4. Don’t forget to preview.
5. Fee waiver is granted to low-income students for them
6. Connect with your high school counselor.
7. Confusion of online and postal mail forms.
8. If you don’t know, ask.
9. It is best not to wait until the last minute to apply.
Pros and cons of the joint application form:
The common application system saves you time.
Tracks important information.
Schools will pay attention to the request.
It’s easy to overdo it.
- Writing and preparing academic topics
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- letter of intent
- Research proposals
- Personal Statement
- Recommendation letter
in addition to full application for scholarships and university admissions).
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