Common Application Appeals To Students

As November comes around and the pressure of college applications gets higher, over 1 million students use The Common Application to make the process easier.
The Common Application is an app that allows people who are looking to apply to several colleges to do so by using just one site.

“I would definitely say that the easiest part about it is how all the colleges and everything that you want to apply to are all in one location,” senior Eric Sykes said.

There are 751 different schools which all accept applications via The Common Application.

“You search the colleges you want to apply to and scholarships you want to apply for,” Sykes said. “It will track your progress with your applications and your scholarship information.”

On the website for the Common App, there are videos that help students understand how to apply to these schools. Guidance counselor Jocelyn Culver, the scholarship coordinator, does this in a more local sense.

“As a scholarship coordinator, I research scholarships outside of what is posted in the scholarship handbook that we give to the seniors at the beginning of the school year,” Culver said.

Culver helps find scholarship opportunities for students around the school. She goes online to different websites in search of what is available to applicants.

“I will post the scholarships typically once a month or whenever we get new ones listed,” Culver said.

Though Culver does not use the Common Application often, she does find the application process to be quite straightforward.

“My view literally just lists all of my students that have applied through the Common App and there are check marks where I will know what I need to submit,” Culver said, “As I submit them, the check marks turn green and I know I’ve submitted them and we’re good to go.”

Both Culver and some applicants said that online processes such as Common Application are much easier. The app allows students to keep track of their progress, apply for scholarships and to schools, and submit teacher recommendations.

“Basically you can get teacher recommendations and they can go online and use it for everywhere – every college you apply to,” senior India Richardson said.

For applicants who may not understand how to use The Common Application, there are videos of virtual counselors on the site. The counselors answer commonly asked questions and post them into the website to assist the people using the app.

As well as having counselors help answer your questions, the app also keeps the students in track with alerts and reminders.

“It pretty much just helps you stay on track and helps you get everything done before the deadline,” Sykes said.

One drawback however is the lack of validation of the applications according to some.

“Since it’s technically not official with all colleges, any information that you give, like test score-wise, is unofficial,” Sykes said. “So they can see what you say your test scores are, but they won’t take that as your actual test score until you send it via an actual college website.”

Overall, apps and websites, like the Common Application, make the college application process easier on both the applicant and the counselor assisting them.

“I definitely think the online process is much easier than relying on the students to remember where they applied and coming to tell me and me mailing it out,” Culver said. “Often the schools won’t receive it in the mail or it gets delayed. So electronically, to me, is always the best way.”