Common App Now Used by More Than 400 Colleges & Universities

Common App Now Used by More Than 400 Colleges & Universities


Applying online simplifies the college application process.

College App

High school students are applying to college the new-fashioned way, as many schools now permit applicants to submit an “Application for Undergraduate Admission” to 415 institutions. Established in 1975 and managed by a nonprofit organization, College App has morphed from an enterprise serving 15 private schools to one that now includes public schools. All member schools are required to accept Common App Online, a move that has made it easier for students from around the world to apply to college. [1]

Common App allows prospective undergraduate students to answer application questions, upload essays and track the status of their applications. Everything is done from just one website, streamlining the college application process for college bound students.

Simple Process

The process is easy, as it allows students to register for free by creating a user name and password. Once registered, students fill out personal information, with gold dots and bolded font types pointing the way. When students log on for the first time, they’re taken to a detailed instruction page explaining how to use the website, learn system requirements, review account information and find out how to start the application process.

A search form helps students to narrow the list of 415 schools to a manageable few to apply to. Schools are listed by geographic region, majors and programs or other search criteria including assistance for visually impaired, study abroad credit, day care services, remedial services and more.

Staying on Track

Once you find the schools you want to apply to, information about the application process and admission process are offered in detail. This is helpful as students must keep tabs of when and how to apply online as they would have to do if they were submitting a hard copy of their application.

Students can then submit applications and essays, then begin following the application process which begins by telling the user that the application is in progress. Supplemental and payment sections are also included; each school also have individualized application information that needs to be filled out. However, the rest of the application process applies to all schools, helping students to save plenty of time especially when sending out multiple application queries.

Common App allows students to preview their applications in pdf format, before hitting the submit button. This allows students to correct mistakes or supply additional information as required or desired.

Getting Help

If you need help, the majority of your questions are answerable through the site’s FAQ page. For further assistance, you can also fill out a ticket and someone will personally handle your query.

If the college or university requires payment, you can make an online credit card or e-check payment, or ask for the appropriate waiver. Video tutorials also help students who need detailed instructions on how to complete the application process.

Is Common App perfect? No, as a number of schools aren’t part of the system. Moreover, with applying to college made easier and with international students now part of the system, the number of applications to select schools has increased sharply. That means the application process has gotten tougher which many also mean students will need to apply to more schools. Averaging $50 per application, college bound students can run up a heavy bill on Daddy’s credit card even before starting classes.

Other Processes

College App isn’t the only game in town according to Forbes. [2] ConnectEdu serves more than 1,500 schools and “College Essay Organizer” has found its place too. No matter how you slice it, applying to college got a bit easier, but somewhat more complicated as the application process moves through cyberspace.


[1] The Common Application: Home

[2] Forbes; The Technology Revolution Changing College Admission; June 8, 2011


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