US Common App. A detailed guide for your way to the US

The Common Application, often referred to as US Common App, allows students around the world to begin their college admission journey. But what is the Common Application? Who can use it and when? Understanding the difference between Standard Common Application and other university applications (such as UCAS or OUAC) can make your college application process easier.

What is a Common App?

The Common Application is an online college application platform used by more than 900 colleges and universities in the US, UK, and Canada. It allows students to apply to multiple universities using one centralized platform. The General Basic Request requires students to provide basic up-to-date information about themselves, as well as information about their high school education. It also contains the main article in the General Edition, more commonly known as the personal statement. Also, some colleges and universities may require additional information through additional questions, essays, or short answers.

Standard General Application

As mentioned earlier, the General Application collects basic information from applicants, such as educational information, courses, and education of parents and siblings. It first asks for basic questions, including your name, address, age, and background. This is followed by the education section, where information is required about your school, graduation date, and counselor’s details. The education section also allows students to submit any information about college work that they may have completed.

Then, students need to submit information about their studies from Grade 9 onwards, as well as any academic awards, hobbies, and more. Then, information about their assessment and activities is required, followed by concluding the application. The Common App includes a “more information” section where students can briefly describe any parts of the program that they feel need more context, such as immersion grades or possible changes in their after-school program due to reasons such as the pandemic.

Common App Essay

After completing the General Application, students are required to complete an application essay in case the specific university they’re applying to requires it. The essay is about 250-650 words long, and there’s an option to write on any essay topic out of six given choices.

My universities

When students set up their General Program account, they will be instructed to add schools to their list within the application. Students can add colleges to their My College section by navigating to the “College Search” section and typing the name of the school they would like to include. Students can add up to 20 schools to the list of ‘My Colleges’. This is also the section where students can find school-related appendixes, including additional essays or short answers to questions from specific schools.

Why Use a Standard App?

In most cases, the Common App eliminates the common pitfalls in the application process when applying to, for example, 10-15 colleges from your preference list. Instead of submitting 10 different institutional applications that ask the same questions about basic things like your demographics and education, you have the ability to fill this information once and use it for multiple applications.

In some universities, the Common App is the only approved application form, which is why it is so important for students to be aware of it. The Common App also makes it easier for counselors and teachers to fill out letters of recommendation, as they can load them directly into student applications using a special invitation initiated by students.

Other Applications

In addition to the Common Application, there are other similar kinds of application options that students can use for different countries. Since Common App is more US-centric, one can use UCAS (Universities and College Application Services) for UK universities or OUAC (Ontario University Application Services) for Canadian universities in the state of Ontario.

There are some schools, such as MIT, which do not use any application at all and instead have their own institutional programs. Make sure that when preparing for a university admission process, you understand what application system is being implemented in the schools you wish to apply to.

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