The 2016-2017 Common Application will be available to you starting August 1. Here are five tips for you to keep in mind as you work on your Common App. We're excited to be with you as you start this amazing journey!
1. If you've already created your account, you will be able to roll it over. Your user name and password will be the same. When you come back to your account, we’ll ask if you would like to roll over your information from 2015-2016. If you answer yes, you’ll go through three key steps in order to roll over your account:
Sign in, using the same email address and password you used to create your account, and answer a few quick questions to start the rollover process.
The rollover process may take a few minutes depending on the amount of information you stored. As the rollover occurs, you'll be taken to your account Dashboard. This is where you’ll keep track of all of your application requirements. Take some time to explore the Dashboard. You’ll check it again and again throughout the application process.
View Common App
After you explore the Dashboard, click on the Common App tab to continue working on your application. You may notice that some answers to questions in the Profile, Family, Education, Activities, Testing, and Writing sections have not rolled over. Remember that some questions change from year to year, so your answers to those questions will not roll over. Don't fret - you're already way ahead of the game! Keep it going...
2. There’s nothing magical about August 1. This is YOUR college search. Whether you have an account from last year, or you haven't created one yet - that’s great. We’re ready for you even if you’re not ready for us.
3. Talk to your counselor and parents (and maybe a college admission officer) before you sign the FERPA Release Authorization. You have the right to access your letters of recommendation after you enroll in college, assuming the college saves those forms. In the “Recommenders and FERPA” section of the application, you’ll be asked if you wish to waive that right. You’re free to respond as you choose, but you need to know that there may be implications for the choice you make. (We explain this in more detail in the application.) For that reason, please make sure you talk to someone — a counselor or parent – who can help you understand your choice before you make it.
4. Check your application for accuracy before submitting. When it comes time to submit your applications–and for many of you, that will be months away–make sure everything on it looks right. Yes, that means proofreading, but it also means checking that your responses appear exactly as they should. If something looks wrong, we want you to tell us so we can help you fix the problem before you send the application. Remember that you can print preview each section as you work through the questions.
5. Add <firstname.lastname@example.org> to your email address book or contact list. We know you’ll have questions, and we are here to answer them. Help us make sure our responses don’t end up in your SPAM or Junk folder by adding our support email address to your contact list.
Bonus: Use #commonapp or @commonapp on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook if you want to share your experiences with us.
Starting with the 2015-2016 application year, Common Application Member colleges and universities will have the choice to require or not require the Common App Personal Essay. Here is what you and your students can expect next year with respect to essay requirements and the submission process:
- Member colleges and universities can choose to require or not require the Personal Essay as part of the application.
- Applicants will always have the option to submit the Personal Essay if they wish to do so.
- If the Personal Essay is required for a particular college, that requirement will be enforced during the submission process. In other words, students will not be able to submit an application without this required element.
- Individual Member writing requirements will be reflected in multiple places within the application.
- Like all other parts of the application, the essay will remain editable for all applicants, at any time.
Finally, in addition to the above processes, we are working on ways to better communicate each Member college’s individual writing requirements so that students can have a complete understanding of what is expected and where it can be found. We look forward to sharing images of these new displays later this spring.