If Not the Common App, Then What?

By: Bethany Schweitzer, JD, PhD
Independent College Consultant, College Ready, LLC

We talked about the Common Application last weekend. The excitement of filling it out with all of its updates, supplements and essays is starting to wear off. Thankfully our students have completed the demographic, student, activities, family etc. etc. etc. information. The essays are almost complete and the supplemental essays are—-let’s say on the way to being complete. I was excited to find the list of colleges using the Common Applications has grown to more than 600 (Yay Toledo! We are excited you jumped on the Common App Bandwagon). Everyone talks about this Common Application thing….but what about the other 3400+ colleges? What do you fill out for them? Well, they each have their own application.

When we start the application process I always tell my clients imagine asking 600+ colleges what they want included in an application. The result is the lengthy Common Application–lots of questions about coursework, testing, demographics, activities and honors. Individual college applications can be as simple entering a bit of demographic information, your school info and what you want to major in or as complex as the Common Application—most fall somewhere in between.

With this blog post today I just wanted to give a shout out to the individual institutional applications.  The Common Application gets all of the glory and is talked about ALL THE TIME. But with more than 3400 other applications out there, I didn’t want for them to be forgotten. Once your Common App is complete fill out your other applications. Don’t forget that they might have essay prompts that look NOTHING like the Common Application essay prompts. They might not have an essay at all. Remember that these applications might be easier, they might be harder, or they might be just right. Happy applying!


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