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Mature teenagers who are going to enter in their graduation, it brings with it a whole lot of unfamiliar responsibilities. Besides discovering their passion and interest to follow into their undergraduate college education, if the students so choose to do, the choice of universities to apply to and then the stupendous application process, it will happen with the help of Common Application Form.
The Common Online Application Form is just like a one-stop-shop like Walmart option to college application – you get access to Undergraduate Applications to more than 800 member colleges in USA, across its 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 is aimed towards not just convenience for students but also to make the process fair and accessible so more students can feel good about their higher-education.
The process has a built-in tool to help students in need of Financial Aid and Scholarships, career counselling, and other resources. It is available for both first-time applicants and for transfer students.
It is estimated that over 3 million students, teachers, and high-school counsellors make use of the Online Common Application Form annually, around the world.
What is Common application form?
The Common Application is an progressive college application that is used to help anticipated college students apply to multiple institutions at once. While you cannot apply to each accredited institution/university by using this single Online Application, you can apply to a large number of UG programs all across the globe.
If you are about to apply to college and you would like to find the most efficient way to improve your ability of getting accepted to more than one school, this article will help you.
The schools Which on the Common Application system:
There are few member schools in the list including big names like
- Harvard University
- Boston University
- Stanford University
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Columbia University
There are also several top universities such as MIT that don’t use the Common App.
Colleges do insist that students apply through only one portal for a term. That is, if a student intends to apply on the university website directly, then that university should not be selected in the Common App, and vice versa. In other words, there is only one application per college from a single student.
Common Application Sections:
Following are the various sections within the Common College Application Form, in brief.
- Profile Section: As the name suggests, is about details such as name, contact information, citizenship, etc. This needs to be filled in carefully as all future correspondence will be done based on the details provided here.
- Family Section: This section involves description of your family and household.
- Education Section: High-School grades and courses and possibly a copy of your transcript. Keep a copy handy for you to fill this section. Bits like school name, counsellor information, previous schools, gap years, college courses if any, GPA, class rank, etc, are part of Education. The website mentions that it is not necessary to fill in career interests if you are not sure.
- Testing Section: College Entrance tests like ACT or SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE (Read TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE) for non-English speakers, and subject tests like AP, IB, SAT Subject Tests or A-Level tests go here. These scores are self-reported. You will have to send official scores when available. You can also indicate future test dates if you are yet to take them. Indicating no test related information is assumed to be a complete portfolio in itself, without test scores. International students can report their school leaving scores. For instance, Senior Secondary results in case of Indian students.
- Activities Section: You can list up to 10 activities with a description, under the specified word limit.
- Writing Section: It contains three sub-sections – Personal Essay which generally has suggested 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 problem in your past, and finally Additional Information where you can choose to share other relevant but not yet presented data.
Besides the above, you will get a chance to self-report your transcripts for all your high-school grades and any other College specific questions or supplements.
Application Fees and Fee Waiver:
More than 250 member universities, in the Common Application Universities, don’t require an application fee and this information is clearly mentioned in the college search. However, there is an application fee for the rest.
The good news is that the Common App has a feature whereby students with financial constraints can opt for an Application Fee Waiver, provided they satisfy one of the following:
- Enrolment of student has been held in Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program
- Annual family income is within a range specified by USDA and Nutrition Service, as being low-income
- Already received or is eligible for a SAT or ACT fee waiver
- Is already enrolled in some form of federal program for low-income families or receives public assistance
- Lives in a subsidized public housing, under foster care, or is homeless
And this application fee waiver has been active in supporting over a million applicants receive over $55 million in waived fees. The students can request for a Common App Fee Waiver in the Profile section mentioned above.
Individual colleges also have possible fee waiver schemes. Financially weak students can also request for a NACAC Application Fee Waiver Form for applying to college. This helps to gain access to financial assistance and free application to colleges.
Where Can You Apply:
The Common Application Form is more than just an Online College Admission Form, it is a medium that can be used to help student’s to increase their chances of getting into school without wasting all of their free time filling out multiple applications. In order to use this common application form for admission to Degree College to your advantage, you must want to attend a member college or university. There are currently over 600 members schools that accept the online application from the United States and 14 other countries that include Austria, Canada, France, Korea, Germany, Italy, and China.
The method to fill the common application form is very simple, you need to fill out your application and select the choice for schools you want your application to be submitted to from the list. Keep in mind that the application process will vary in terms of each school, including the fees and the deadlines.
How do you apply to Common App colleges?
1. Create a Common App account:
To get started you need an e-mail address. You’ll be prompted to create a account through login and password and also need to answer a few quick questions about who you are (parent, teacher, or counselor) and when you’re applying to college.
2. Confirm which of the schools on your list accept the Common Application Form:
As we already said mot all schools accept the Common Application form. You may ask from colleges to fill out their own College Application Form or to use another Common application system like Apply Texas for Texas colleges.
3. Check out all the admission information for every school:
Do remember that Common App schools can have different testing, writing, essay, and letter of recommendation requirements. Make sure you do your research! You’ll use the same Common College application form but the requirement of admission may vary from school to school.
4. Gather the information you KNOW you’ll need
Gather all the information related to your parent or guardian’s educational background and work history, copy of your high school transcript, a list of your extracurriculars, etc as most of the application ask for a copy of your high school transcript.
5. Start working on your application
Dashboard of the Common Admission form will show the list of all colleges and the status of each component of your application. You can pick an essay topic, initiate filling in general information, or you can also ask a teacher for a recommendation letter. There’s no college online application task too big or small!
6. Track the status of your application(s)
The icons placed on your Dashboard will guide you in a better way. There are three types of check in an application form – A green means your application has been submitted to that particular college, a yellow circle means your application is still in progress, and a red means that a particular section is not required for admission to that college.
Submit all the material related to application by 11:59pm (in your local time zone) on the deadline date posted in your Common App Dashboard.
Important things to Know about the Common Application:
1. You can create more than one application.
2.Watch the essay word count.
2. You can upload a new essay.
3.Make sure your application is really submit.
4. Don’t forget to preview.
5. Fee waiver is given to low-income students for their
6. Communicate with your high school counsellor.
7. Got confused between online and snail mail forms.
8. If you don’t know, ask.
9. It’s best not to wait until the last minute to apply.
Pros & Cons of Common Application Form:
- The Common Application System Saves You Time.
- Tracks Important Info.
- Schools Won’t Pay Less Attention.
- 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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