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Windbourne College Consulting

What is the Common App?

Ah, the Common App - the go-to platform for applying to multiple colleges. It can be a bit nerve-wracking, but fear not! We're here to help you tackle it with ease, and maybe even a hint of fun.

To get started, create an account on the Common App website. This is your virtual hub for managing almost all of your college applications. While the official launch is on August 1st, you can still create an account now and get familiar with the application.

A tip from us: use a brand new email solely for your college search.

To complete the Common App, you'll need to gather several pieces of information and materials.

Here's a quick list to help you out:

  • Personal Information: Name, birthdate, contact information, social security number, and citizenship status.
  • Academic History: High school GPA, class rank, courses taken, and scores on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, and AP tests.
  • Extracurricular Activities: List all your extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports teams, volunteer work, and employment.
  • Essays: The Common App Personal Statement is required, but many colleges will also ask for supplemental essays. Take the time to craft these essays, as they are an essential part of your application. These essays should be all about you and should allow the reader to get to know you.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Most colleges require at least one letter, so have a list of potential recommenders ready.
  • Application Fees: There's a fee to submit your application, which varies depending on the number of colleges you apply to. Keep in mind that some colleges may require additional fees for specific programs or majors.
  • Supplemental Materials: Some colleges may require additional materials, like a portfolio of your artwork or a video of your performance. Make sure you read the requirements carefully and gather all the necessary materials.

Now for some tips to make the Common App process smoother and even enjoyable:

  • Don't procrastinate until the last minute! Start your applications as soon as the Common App launches on August 1st, so you don't miss out on any deadlines. The earlier you start, the more time you'll have to perfect your application and enjoy your senior year.
  • Keep track of deadlines. Different colleges have different application deadlines, so make sure you keep track of them all. Set up reminders on your phone or write them on your calendar - whatever works best for you!
  • Be thorough, but don't go overboard. The Common App is designed to give colleges a comprehensive overview of your academic and extracurricular history. So give them all the details, but keep it concise and to the point.
  • Get feedback from trusted advisors. Ask your teacher, counselor, or family members to read over your essays and other materials. They might have valuable insights that can take your application to the next level.
  • Be yourself, and have some fun! The Common App isn't just about presenting your best self. It's about showing colleges who you really are. So be authentic, be genuine, and let your true self shine through.

The Common App may seem daunting, but with these tips, a positive attitude, and a little bit of fun, you can do it. You're awesome - now go rock that Common App and make your college dreams come true!

Get Started Today!


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