Common Application Tips

Common Application LogoThe Common Application allows students to apply to over 800 member colleges with a single application. The Common Application takes some time and effort to work through, particularly for homeschooled students and their parents. Here are a few tips to help your homeschool senior as they tackle the Common Application.

Use the Correct Login

There are three different login option tabs on the Common Application – one for applicants, one for member colleges, and one for recommenders. If you having difficulty logging in as a homeschool parent, make sure to use the recommender tab, not the applicant tab.

Answer All Required Questions
The questions that are marked with a red asterisk must be completed in order to complete that section. When the section is complete it will be marked with a green check mark. If you don’t get the green checkmark, go back and find the questions that have not been completed.

Supplemental Essays
The Common Application gives students a choice of essay topics for an essay that will go be sent to every college they apply to. In addition to this Common essay, member colleges can ask additional questions and assign supplemental essays. More selective colleges tends to ask for more in terms of supplements. I strongly advise students to begin looking at the required supplements early in the process and to take time to make an organized list of what they will need to accomplish to submit applications to all of the schools on their list.

Not Working? Check System Requirements
If you are having trouble with features of the Common Application such as text fields or print preview be sure to check and make sure your system matches the requirements. Changing or updating browsers is a good place to start with troubleshooting. If you are unable to get a feature to work after doing so, consult the Common Application help feature. They are able to read your system and browser information and identify if that is causing a difficulty with the functionality of application features.

You may also be interested in:

Common Application Essay Strategies
Tips for the Common Application Activities Section

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