College Unfold

Streamlining the College Application Process: Common App Updates and Tips

Changes to the Common App: What Applicants Need to KnowThe college application process can be overwhelming, with countless forms and essays to complete. However, the Common App has become a saving grace for many students, streamlining the process by allowing them to apply to multiple colleges with just one application.

The Common App has recently made some changes that applicants should be aware of. In this article, we will discuss the new member colleges, the addition of a COVID-19 prompt, the unchanged essay prompts, and user experience upgrades in the 2020-21 Common App.

We will also provide advice for soon-to-be applicants on getting a head start on their Common App. Let’s dive in!

1) Changes to the Common App

1.1 New Member Colleges:

The Common App has welcomed some new member colleges, expanding the options for applicants. Auburn University, Clemson University, Loyola University Chicago, Texas Tech University, University of Georgia, and Virginia Tech have all joined the Common App community.

This means that students interested in these schools can now apply using the Common App, making the application process more convenient. 1.2 COVID-19 Prompt Added to 2019-20 Common App:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives, so it’s no surprise that it has also affected the college application process.

The Common App has added a COVID-19 prompt to the 2019-20 application. This 250-word optional question gives applicants the opportunity to share how the pandemic has affected their lives.

It covers various aspects such as health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education. This prompt allows applicants to provide admissions officers with a deeper understanding of their experiences during this challenging time.

1.3 Common App Essay Prompts Remain the Same:

While there are changes to the Common App, applicants will be relieved to know that the essay prompts remain the same. This gives students the chance to select from seven essay prompts and write a 650-word essay that showcases their unique experiences, perspectives, and qualities.

Selecting the right prompt, brainstorming ideas, and writing a compelling essay are crucial steps that applicants should focus on. 1.4 User Experience Upgrades in the 2020-21 Common App:

The Common App has made several user experience upgrades to improve the application process for students.

Applicants who identify as Hispanic or Latino can now indicate their background on the demographic page. Additionally, proficiency in “Other” languages can be reported, allowing applicants to showcase their language skills.

The first-year recommender system has been enhanced to simplify the process for students. The to-do list and tutorial have been redesigned to be more user-friendly.

Students can now upload multiple files in the Additional Information section, making it easier to include relevant documents. The Activities Section has also been improved, allowing for clearer organization of activity details such as organization name and position or leadership description.

A search feature has been added to the FAQs section, making it easier for applicants to find answers to their questions.

2) Advice for Applicants

2.1 Get a Head Start on Your Common App:

For soon-to-be applicants, getting a head start on the Common App can make the application process less stressful. Starting early in the admissions season allows for more time to review and revise the application.

Familiarize yourself with the Common App platform by exploring its features, such as the essay portion and Activities Section. Review the essay prompts and brainstorm potential topics.

Start drafting your essays early, giving yourself ample time for revisions. Keep track of important deadlines and create a schedule to ensure timely submission.

By starting early, you can alleviate some of the pressure and present your best self to admissions officers. In conclusion, the Common App is constantly evolving to meet the needs of applicants.

The addition of new member colleges, the COVID-19 prompt, user experience upgrades, and the unchanged essay prompts all play a significant role in shaping the college application process. By staying informed about these changes and following our advice on getting a head start, applicants can navigate the Common App with confidence.

Good luck on your college journey!

The Common App is continually evolving to simplify and enhance the college application process. Recent changes include the addition of new member colleges, a COVID-19 prompt, user experience upgrades, and unchanged essay prompts.

These updates provide applicants with more options, an opportunity to share their pandemic experiences, and an improved application platform. To navigate the Common App successfully, applicants are advised to start early, familiarize themselves with the platform, and plan ahead.

By staying informed and proactive, students can submit their best applications and increase their chances of admission. Remember, preparation and utilizing the tools available can make all the difference in a successful college application.

Good luck!

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