Over 800 colleges and universities use the Common App. 

What is it? 

It’s an online platform which gives students the opportunity to apply to multiple colleges!

And we are hosting a live Common App Bootcamp Aug 3rd & 4th @ 7pm

by Emilie Mobley, California College Consulting, July 22, 2020

If you’re applying to more than one college, the Common App makes the process so much easier. August 1 is when you’ll be able to log on and get started. Here’s what you need to know to prepare.


Gather the following before you sit down to begin the application process:

  • Your School Code
  • Name and address of your HS
  • Unofficial high school transcripts
  • Class rank/total
  • In lieu of these, you may gather your report cards and senior year schedule
  • SAT/ACT/TOEFL scores and test dates
  • Grading scale in your school 4.0, 5.0
  • Parent or Guardian address & contact information (for both)
  • Your parent/guardians’ work information and their education
  • Your counselors’ name, title and phone #
  • If you plan to apply for financial aid, have your social security number handy
  • An appropriate and balanced list of schools

Having these ready will make things easier for you-trust me.

Create an Account

New users will need to click on “Create a New Account”. Use your legal name! Do not use any nicknames or other variations of your given name. Enter an email address you check regularly! Colleges will use this email to communicate with you. Get in the habit of checking it regularly. Yes, the word “regularly” was worth repeating. By the way, your email address should be simple and mature. Example of an appropriate email address: firstname[email protected].  Example of an in ill-advised email address: idrivefast@gmail….

Extracurricular Activities

The Common App provides enough space (150 characters) for you to list and describe ten things you dedicated time and effort to during your high school years. Our students should have this already prepared. If you need help, contact us. 

These extracurricular activities should be described using more figures and fewer adjectives. If you haven’t already prepared this list, do it now. Remember, you are not limited to activities associated with school. Community involvement, volunteer work, paid jobs, internships, sports, clubs, and even family responsibilities and hobbies can be considered on your top 10 list. Did you turn your part time life-guarding job into a fundraiser? Did you raise suicide awareness by organizing a concert? Have you been given the responsibility of caring for a younger sibling?


Here we go! The ESSAY (Personal Essay, Essay, Common App Essay, Personal Statement) will be plugged into the Writing section of the Common App. Most colleges you apply to will see this essay. Depending on which college you are applying to, you may be asked to submit Supplemental Essays. You can click on the “My Colleges” tab to discover which prompts your school(s) offer/require. If the prompts are not listed there yet, check the college’s website. If you are an eager beaver and are starting the process on August 1st, you may have to check back later for these prompts. In the meantime, scour the Admissions page to discover the types of questions they’ve asked in the past. This may give you some insight into the types of questions they like to ask. Each college is different, but one topic you should already be considering: why do you want to go to that school.


This is it! It’s up to you. Each college has its own application deadlines and requirements. Our students strive to have their applications in for Early Admission which is usually Nov 1-15th. 

Unless you are extraordinarily organized and can thoroughly manage your own process and schedule of deadlines, might I suggest you ask for assistance from a parent or counselor? Don’t wait until the last minute. Aside from errors you may make because of the pressure, there may be unforeseen issues such as, electronic glitches, which are not due to anything you have or have not done but may cause you real trouble. 

Get organized, be prepared, get help if needed, don’t wait!

JOIN US for our live Common App Bootcamp on August 3rd & 4th at 7pm. Current clients email to register. Guests please use this link:


For a wealth of specific information on the Common App, click here!