One way to make applying to college easier is to use the Common Application, or Common App for short. It’s an online application that allows you to enter the information most colleges require in one place, then send it to each school individually.
A helpful way to kick off the college application process is to start with the Common App. When you sign up for an account you will be asked to list the schools you are applying to. If you don’t have your list set yet, you can also use the Common App’s school search feature to find additional schools you may want to do more research on. Then, you can use the Common App’s tools—like their requirements worksheet—to organize all of the things you need to do—even for schools that don’t use the Common App.
Not all schools accept the Common App, but many do, including many Ivy League schools and other selective colleges and universities. If you use the Common Application, you can also use their college search to find schools that meet your criteria, use their checklists and requirement grids to keep track of what each school requires, upload your materials, pay application fees, and submit your applications.
For schools that don’t accept the Common App, you’ll have to visit their individual websites to see how they want you to apply. Most often, they’ll have an online system you’ll use to submit your materials. However, by using the Common App where you can, and taking advantage of the tools and information you can find there, you can ensure that you have all of your tasks and deadlines organized, which will reduce stress and decrease the likelihood of missing out of a chance to go to a terrific college due to an administrative mistake.