What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Loading…
UCLA
Loading…
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What's the deal with the Common App for college admissions?

I've heard a lot about this Common App thing and I'm just starting to look into colleges. Can someone give me a rundown of what the Common App is and why it seems like every student uses it for college applications? Also, is it considered better to use the Common App over a school's individual application if they have one?

7 months ago

The Common Application, commonly known as 'Common App,' is an online college application platform that over 900 colleges and universities use. Students can fill out this one application and submit it to any number of participating schools. That's the key appeal—it saves a lot of time and effort since you don't have to fill out multiple separate applications.

The Common App includes sections for your personal information, extracurricular activities, essays, and college-specific supplements. One major essay is sent to all schools, with additional school-specific essays or questions for each institution as needed.

Whether you should use the Common App or a school's individual application often depends on where you're applying. Some schools might prefer their own application for various reasons, but many don't express a preference. The key is to check each college's admissions website to see what they recommend.

Generally, when a school accepts the Common App, it’s a convenient option for students. But if a school offers its own application alongside the Common App and doesn’t state a preference, choose the application platform that feels most comfortable and convenient for you.

Remember to ensure that all your materials, including essays and recommendation letters, are tailored and thoroughly checked regardless of the platform you choose.

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.