How to Decide if the Common Application is Right for You

Brown University campus - Brown accepts the common application

Flickr user Will Hart

The Common Application is a college application that is accepted by hundreds of schools all over the United States. Instead of completing dozens of applications one by one (with dozens of essays as well), you can complete one single application. But how do you know if the Common Application is right for you? Here are some things to ask yourself and consider before you complete it.

Do The Schools You’re Interested In Accept The Common Application?

Over 700 colleges and universities accept the Common Application and if you have several colleges on your list that accept the application it is definitely worth your time to complete it. There’s no sense in completing each application separately. This includes both public and private schools.

Keep in mind though that schools may have different requirements even through the Common Application. You’ll want to research each college you’re interested in to ensure you’re meeting all the requirements.

Consider The Benefits of The Common Application

If there are several schools on your short list that accept the Common Application there are quite a few benefits to just doing the one app. The most obvious being the amount of time and effort you save. Instead of completing each application separately, filling out your name, address, phone number, and other information over and over again, and writing a different essay for each application, you can do it all once and be done with it.

This frees up a lot more time for studying for the SAT or ACT, doing homework, attending extracurricular activities, or applying to scholarships. Not to mention, it reduces the amount of stress you’re under during an already very busy year for you. This can allow you to slow down and concentrate on other aspects of your senior year.

Another benefit is knowing that colleges don’t look differently at the Common Application. Even if they offer you the choice between their application and the Common App, your acceptance chances don’t decrease if you choose not to do theirs.

Benefits of the Common App

The Common Application can be a huge time saver and stress reliever if you are applying to colleges who accept it. Even if only a handful of colleges you’re interested in accept the Common App, use it. The time saved means you can donate more time to other college applications, school work, ACT or SAT prep, work, and more. There is really no downside to taking it! Just remember to double check well ahead of time if a school accepts it or not, so you’re not scrambling last minute to complete another application.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Hilary Cairns

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