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Common Application: One Application, Multiple Colleges

It’s just about college application submission time! Are you excited or what? Well, if the thought of filling out college application after college application doesn’t exactly thrill you – the Common Application just might! You haven’t heard about it? Well, My College Guide got in touch with Scott Anderson, the Director of Outreach at Common Application, for more info.

Remember The Lord of The Rings? It's sort of like "one ring to rule them all" except that there are no rings, Elves, or Orcs -- and it's a college application.

Generalnoir / D McG

The Common Application is one way to streamline the college application process. Says Scott Anderson, “I’ll quote our mission statement: ‘The Common Application is a not-for-profit membership organization that, since its founding 35 years ago, has been committed to providing reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process.

We serve students, member institutions, and secondary schools by providing applications – online and in print – that students and school officials may submit to any of our more than 400 members. Membership is open to colleges and universities that promote access by evaluating students using a holistic selection process.’”

Whew! That’s a mouthful! What that really means is that instead of filling out and sending in applications from numerous colleges and universities (let’s face it, most applications aren’t really all that different from one another), the Common Application lets you fill out just one application online – so you can then use that same application at all of the Common Application member colleges and universities.

Want into college? You'll have to submit a college application first!

james / bono / Jamie Bono

Just how many Common Application member colleges are there? “For 2010-11,” shares Anderson, “we have 415 members.”  And, from the sounds of it, it’s definitely garnering a following! “Last year,” he remarked, “489,000 students submitted 1.93 million Common Applications.”

A student can’t send the Common Application to just any college – “Students can only send a Common App to our member institutions,” states Anderson. But, the list of Common Application college and university members is quite large and features many colleges and universities that you might be interested in!

So, what’s the big benefit to using the Common App? “The Common Application saves time by allowing a student to complete one application that can them be submitted to many colleges,” reveals Anderson. “It’s also important to know that about 2/3 of our members will require some additional information from students in the form of Supplements.”

We can see how this could be a bit of a time-saver. If you are curious, there is plenty of help available to answer your Common Application questions – there’s also an online support center. Yes, Common Application is on Facebook, too. But in the meantime, My College Guide is here to help you with the rest of the college admissions process! Stay tuned as we keep tackling college admissions issues and keep you informed about the latest in college news!

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  3. Online College Application: 5 Tips to Perfection
  4. Four Colleges with Supplemental Video Application Essays
  5. Applying to College: How Many Colleges Should You Apply to?
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  1. [...] College Guide has received a few questions after our recent article and interview on the Common Application. As you might remember, the Common Application is another way to handle the college admission [...]

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