American Experience | 体验美国

Nadia Goes to College: Common App- A Time Investment that is Worth it.

December 17, 2013 4:27 am | By Nadia

I hope you guys have been doing your research on colleges!

It’s ok if you haven’t yet. Stick with Intro America and the research will come to you!

In this blog I’m addressing what’s probably the one of the most important components of the college application for most American universities: it’s called the Common App. The Common App makes your application process a lot easier. All you have to do is fill out the application once, and you can send that same application to several colleges. A list of big name colleges using the App will be found at the bottom of this blog, as well as a link to the Common App website.

The Common App is a nonprofit organization that virtually almost all students wishing to study for college in the United States can sign up to. Yes, this includes students outside of the United States! By making an account, a 5-minute process, you can begin. Bear in mind that not all colleges use the Common App.

You will notice 4 tabs on the top: Dashboard, My Colleges, Common App, and College Search. For the purposes of this blog, we will be discussing filling out the application in detail, and so we will by focusing on Common App. If you are curious, Dashboard is where colleges you have added from College Search are listed and My Colleges provides specific details on those colleges.

Now, back to the Common App. It is a long process, and you will need your parents sitting next to you for certain questions. In fact, they ask for you parents’ education information in great detail. You will have to answer questions about your “profile” (where you live, when you were born, what race, gender, income etc), “family” (parents living with you, jobs they occupy), “education” (questions about your school experience), testing (this is where the SAT comes in), “activities” (clubs, sports, jobs, hobbies) and “writing” (the college essay, which we will discuss in the next blog). For each of these sections, they are divided into another 5 or so sections on average. It’s a very long process and you must answer honestly.

The Common App, although somewhat time consuming, asks all these questions because colleges want to know everything they can about you. Some colleges using the App actually have more questions and a different essay in addition to the Common App!

I can’t answer any of the questions for you. They are personal and you need to do them yourself, but I hope this helped you understand why you are doing it. In the long run, it’s much easier to do one application that takes a while than writing 20 applications of the same stuff over and over again.

The Common App site:

Some Colleges using the Common App as of 2013:
• Bard College
• Barnard College
• Columbia University
• Cornell University