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What Is the Common App?
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The goal was to establish a standardized first year college application that promoted
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Hi, I'm Kaytie Sproul, here for About.com, and today we're going to take a look at the Common App.Applying to college can be simultaneously one of the most exciting and exhausting periods in a persons life. However, if you're applying to schools that use the common app, you may be able to reduce a bit of the stress. The common app was launched way back in 1975 with 15 member schools.The goal, in the words of the founders themselves, was to establish a standardized first year college application that promoted equity, access and integrity in the college application process. Over the decades, the number of schools that use the common app has grown to over 450, and it's now available for both first year and transfer students. To find out if the schools you are considering use the common app, all you have to do is visit the website, commonapp.org and click on the "Member Colleges & Universities" tab.The app can be downloaded, printed, filled out, and mailed to a participating college. Or you can simply, and more conveniently, fill it out and submit it online at commonapp.org. You'll just need to register on the site. Taking a look at the common app, one can see that it's divided into a handful of sections. The form contains sections requiring basic information such as name, address, and contact information, to go with sections requiring detailed breakdowns of your educational history and academic performance. There are also sections that require information on your family's academic history as well.Another big part of the app is detailing your extracurricular activities, work experience, and plans for the future. Finally, as with any college application, the common app requires an essay focused on one of five topics, or on a topic of your choice. It's important to note that many participating schools will require applicants to complete supplementary application material specific to their institutions. That said, the information provided on the common app should not be customized for any one school. Applying to college is a milestone in most peoples lives. While the process can be stressful, using the common app can help to mitigate the amount of paperwork most students would have to deal with otherwise.
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