Common Application

Common Application

Many Schools Extend Early Admissions Deadline After Freak Winter Storm

College Common Application LogoWhen an unseasonal snow storm swept through the Northeast last week, many families were left without electricity. This means no heaters, no warm water, and the worst thing for high school seniors: no computers or internet to use to submit their early applications for college acceptance.

The deadline for many colleges for early application was November 1, 2011. For many students who wanted to apply early to their choice schools, the lack of power in their homes forced them to flock to local coffee shops, bookstores, and other public places that still had electricity to charge their laptops and working Internet connections in order to submit their applications.

“I actually had a nervous breakdown, said Victoria Ngo, a high school student who wanted to apply early admission to Villanova University. Ngo found herself without power and was unable to complete her personal statement, which was saved on her laptop, because the computer’s battery had died. Luckily, Ngo was able to go to her cousin’s home in another city where she could charge her computer and finish her personal statement on time.

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Common Application Goes Mobile to Make It More Convenient for Students

The Common Application LogoFor many high school seniors, applying to several schools used to seem like quite a daunting feat because of the numerous different essay questions that each school asked. Luckily, a Common Application was created as a way to cut down the amount of time and effort involved in applying to various schools.

In the past year, there were some technical issues that made the Common Application somewhat difficult, and at times even more stressful than traditional applications. However, it now seems that these bugs have been worked out and a mobile version is available for students to access via their smartphones.

The new mobile site allows high school seniors to use their phones to check on the status of their applications, payment, and any other materials that might be required. Currently, 456 colleges are accepting the Common Application, but most of these schools also require addition application materials.

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Common App Facing Technical Problems

Common AppStudents who are working on submitting the Common Application, a widely accepted admissions form, may experience some frustration when filling out the electronic version. The electronic version of the Common App says that students can submit short essays that don’t exceed 150 words, yet many students are finding that the end of their responses are being cut off. The problem is known as the “truncation” issue, and not only affects the short essay, but also parents’ job titles and the extracurricular activities fields of the form.

For a time, students did not discover these problems until they printed their completed applications, revealing the final version that would be viewed by admissions officers. The New York Times reports that the Common App office has now at least added an error message to the online form, warning students that their responses may be too long.

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Does the College Application Process Ever End?!

Monday morning I sat down with my college folder and thumbed through all its contents, going through a mental checklist of everything I was supposed to have in my folder. I looked over everything two (OK, maybe three times!) making sure nothing had dropped out or gone missing. I then proceeded to my College Adviser’s office (who also happens to be my IB counselor), ran inside and placed the folder at his desk. He slowly went through the file folder just as I had and made sure I had everything in my folder. When he told me good job and said I had everything in my folder, I couldn’t help but smile and do a little happy dance. The folder I had worked on for so many hours was finally complete and turned in.

guidance counselor

Of course this isn’t anywhere near the end of the college application process, unfortunately.

Another great thing about the Common App website is that on the website you can find not only schools’ applications, but also their supplement, if they require one.  So now that I have picked my schools, turned in my college folder, and almost completed all the little boxes for my common app, I now get to begin my supplements for all my schools! Exciting, I know…

For most schools, the supplement is simple and asks a few short questions such as “Why are you considering -insert school name here-?” or “What makes you think that -insert school name here- is a good match for you? What can you bring to the school?”. Whereas other schools have much more in-depth supplements that involve mini-essays and even a full blown essay. The point of these supplements is to add a more personal touch to your application. So rather than just viewing numbers and letters from teachers and your counselor, the supplements allow the schools to see you within the application, you get to give your application a personal touch!

So when it comes to supplements, be sure to put a lot of thought and effort into each one. Remember that a supplement can set you apart from all other applicants because this is the most personal and insightful part of the application for each school you intend on applying to.

The Common Application

More commonly known as the Common App amongst students, this is your gateway into the world of college. The Common Application is the most widely used application by colleges in the United States. It’s an application that is approximately 15 pages long and consists of many parts, such as a part for students to fill out and submit an essay, teacher recommendations, counselor report forms and many more. Each part of this application is essential for the college to which you are applying. Although the Common App doesn’t apply to all schools (like a friend who is looking at music conservatories has a completely different application process), most schools actually use the Common App.

On, you can set up an account where you can complete your application online. This makes it so much easier because you don’t have as much paper work to worry about. Although you can do most of the application online, things such as the midyear report, the secondary school report, and your teacher recommendation papers will have to be printed and given to the appropriate person that will be taking care of each paper. Read the rest of this entry »

College Applications Are Due When?!

I have already spent countless hours on my college folder, picking schools, fishing through a sea of college mail, and taking the time to look at each school carefully so I know which schools will be right for me. So once I had my 10 schools picked, I sat back and released a sigh of relief. Now I could take it easy.

Well yesterday I had a meeting with my college adviser and I came to realize how much I had to do! Sure I had my schools picked out (which is more than quite a few of my classmates can say), but with such a high number of schools that I plan on applying to, I came to realize how much more work I would be putting into my applications in order to finish them on time. Thankfully, only 3 of my colleges are Early Action, but my college folder is due to my college adviser by September 23rd! Of course, not all my applications are due at this point, only information my adviser and teachers have to send.

Although I want to finish a big chunk of my college applications early, I want to spend a decent amount of time on each of them, and focus a lot on my top 3 colleges. Another thing I will want to spend a lot of time on is the supplement for each school.

For those of you who are reading this and asking “What in the world is she talking about?” let me explain some. For each college, there is their application. Most schools use what is called the Common Application which can be found online. Along with the Common App, most schools use supplements developed by the schools that give a little personal touch to the regular application. For most, the supplement will be an essay (on top of the essay you submit with the Common App), while some schools may pick something else for you to do. But the main goal of the supplement, as I said before, is so that your boring, bland application will have a little more character, allowing the colleges to see more of you than just the numbers you’ve produced during your high school years.

So it is very important for you to get a headstart on your college applications. Whether you are applying to 2 schools or 12 schools, it’s always a good idea to start early, just in case something comes up that can take time away from the application process. Remember also, to spend a good amount of time on the supplement if a school requires one because the supplement is what will allow for the school to see you come through your application rather than just viewing you as a couple of numbers.


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