Common App FAQ: 10 Burning Questions Answered for College Applicants

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 9/27/16 8:45 AM

IPFW-Blog-14-1.jpgThe Common App makes it easier to keep track of your applications when applying to multiple schools. It’s a great way of saving yourself a headache—especially if you plan on applying to a lot of schools this fall. 

(Related guide: 12 Common Mistakes First-Timers Make When Applying to College with the Common App

What is the Common App? 

Normally, you’d have to fill out a separate application for every school on your list. As you can imagine, that adds additional steps, essays, and fees for every school on your list. The Common App collects most of the data you’d see on a college application all in one place. Then you decide which schools get your application.

You can also store supplemental materials like exam scores, transcripts, and essays. The Common App even helps you keep track of deadlines and missing materials.

Why should I use it?

We can think of a few reasons:

  • Save time by filling out one application for several schools
  • Focus your energy on making one application stand out
  • Keep track of your materials and deadlines
  • Find and research new schools to add to your list
  • Virtual counselors to answer your questions

Is it free?

Using the Common App is free, but you still have to pay application fees for each school on your list unless you get a waiver

(Related post: How to Get Your College Application Fees Waived)

Do the schools on my list accept the Common App?

Nearly 700 colleges across the U.S. now accept the Common App, so there’s a good chance at least some of the schools on your list will. You can search the Common App database to see which of your schools are included.

(We’ve also made a list of 10 Indiana schools that accept the Common App.)

How do I use the Common App?

There are five steps to use the Common App:

  1. Create an account with your basic info, like name, address, and email
  2. Add schools that interest you to your list
  3. Track the application requirements for each school
  4. Add your test scores, essays, and transcripts
  5. Apply!

You don’t have to fill out everything at once—in fact, it’s a good idea not to. You can create a profile, research schools, and build your application over time.

How will I know that I’ve provided everything my school requires?

The Common App will help you track and understand individual requirements for every school on your list using worksheets. (That said, it’s a good idea for you to double check everything before you submit.) 

Can schools see where else I’ve applied?

No. The Common App won’t share that information with any of the schools on your list. 

IPFW-Blog-14-2.jpgWill I have a better chance of getting into a school if I don’t use the Common App?

Whether or not you decide to use the Common App won’t affect your chances of getting in. Admissions teams only care about the content of your application—your grades, test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities.

Does the Common App have additional resources to help me?

Yes! You can watch videos, read tips, and get advice from the experts.

Does IPFW accept the Common App?

You bet

The Common App is a great way to research schools and stay organized as you get ready to apply. If you need more help, be sure to download our Ultimate College Decision Timeline.

Download the checklist - The Ultimate College Decision Timeline

Topics: Applying to College, Common App





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