Thursday is August 1, which if you’re a student, means the summer is starting to wind down.
But this date also holds a more important distinction: the day the new version of the Common App opens to the public. If you’re a high school senior, this means you can start getting your college applications in line.
But what exactly is the Common App and how does it work? Here are 4 things to know.
1. One application, a number of schools. The basic idea of the Common App is that you can fill out one application and use it to apply to a variety of schools instead of going through the admissions process with each individual school. Thus, it consolidates your work and allows you to focus on other things instead of being overwhelmed.
2. There are 488 members of the Common Application. Check to see if schools you are interested in offer the CA. You can also find this on Statistics pages of the College Prowler site.
3. What are schools with a holistic selection process? Only colleges and universities with a holistic selection process can participate. What this means is that the Common App schools must have subjective and objective criteria. For example, requirements may include one recommendation form, one untimed essay, and other considerations. Schools that only consider grades and GPA as admissions criteria are not invited to be Common App members.
4. Different schools have different supplemental essays. While you can consolidate your application process, you still may have different essays to worry about. Some schools require additional essay work, while others don’t. For example, the University of Chicago apparently has pretty crazy supplemental essay questions. The Common App will have all of the supplemental essays in one place.
Overall, the Common Application is meant to simplify the college admissions process. If a prospective school of yours is a Common App member, consider applying through this method if you wish to streamline college admissions. It may be a time-saver.