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Completing the Common Application
Filling out applications for the countless colleges can be mind-numbingly painful, tedious and repetitive. That's where the Common Application comes in.
The Common Application is a single application for undergraduate college admission, used by a number of selective colleges and universities. Students have been using the Common Application for 25 years, and there are currently 230 member colleges and universities, both public and private, that agree to give full consideration to applications submitted on this one common form.
Find out if your school is one of them at commonapp.org.
How Do You Use the Common Application?
Paper or online.
Using the paper form (available in your guidance office or by downloading from commonapp.org), you complete one Common Application, photocopy it, and send it to any of the member colleges to which you want to apply.
Using the electronic version, you may either submit your application via the internet or print it and mail a hard copy.
Do Colleges Prefer Their Own Application?
All Common Application member colleges and universities also belong to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), which requires that members not discriminate against applicants based on the particular form they use. Several colleges even use the Common Application as their own form.
Occasionally some colleges require a supplemental form of their own. At commonapp.org you can access supplemental forms to complete online and links to downloadable forms on individual college sites.
For further information, including a Common Application in paper form, contact the National Association of Secondary School Principals at 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20190-1537—or call 1-800-253-7746.