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How to Submit the Common App

Monday, August 2, 2021

Our Step-By-Step Guide for Submitting the Common App

Hitting “submit” for the Common App is a major milestone in every student’s college admissions journey. However, before you can celebrate, it’s important to make sure you understand the submission process inside and out so that you can present yourself in the best light possible.

If you’re currently preparing to submit the Common App, make sure you have a clear understanding of the steps required to complete your applications. Keep reading to learn more about how to submit your Common App with step-by-step guidance from our team of admissions experts. 

Step 1: Navigate to My Colleges

Once you’ve logged in to your Common App account, start by navigating to the My Colleges tab. This tab allows users to complete college-specific questions and supplements and invite and manage the recommenders you choose to write your college recommendation letters. If you’re looking for a little extra guidance, you can access links to video tutorials that break down exactly what you’ll need to do to complete this section.

Step 1

Step 2: Complete the Questions Section

Look to the left-hand side of your screen and search for the section that says “Questions”. This page outlines exactly what you need to complete for your application to a specific school. The items that appear on the page are what you need to fill out; click on the hyperlinked text to navigate to the sections that you need to complete, such as filling out a list of activities. When you’ve finished all of the required materials, you will see the option to “Review and Submit” your application on this screen, so look out for that to make sure you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2

Step 3: Make Sure the Recommenders Section is Complete

Click the section below Questions on the left-hand side, titled “Recommenders and FERPA”. On this page, you can invite Recommenders – people who will submit forms and information to colleges on your behalf. Additionally, remember to invite your school counselor, who will submit your School Report and other forms, by clicking the “Invite Counselor” button directly below the button for inviting recommenders. Finally, use the “Invite Teacher” button to select and assign the teachers who are writing your recommendation letters. 

Step 3

Step 4: Complete the Writing Section Before Hitting Submit

Although you may be eager to submit your applications, don’t forget to complete the writing section first. Look out for a heading titled “Writing Supplements” and a subheading called “Questions”, further down the left-hand side of your screen. You’ll see a list of writing questions that are specific to the school you are applying to. Make sure to fill these out and double-check all of your work before clicking “Review and Submit – Common App”. Please note, there are TWO parts to submit if your prospective school requires any writing prompts.

Step 4

What if I Have More Questions about the Common App?

If you’re still a little unclear about how to fill out the Common App, don’t stress. There are a few steps you can take for more information:

  • Start by checking out the Common App’s guide for first-time students. This comprehensive resource breaks down every step of the process, from gathering materials to planning essays, complete with video explainers.
  • Meet with your counselor. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the college counselor at your school or your independent admissions counselor, who can walk you through the process and answer any pressing questions.
  • When in doubt, call or email. If you’ve done your research and still can’t find an answer to your question, consider calling or emailing the Common App by navigating to their Help page.

Keep in mind, however, that the closer you get to the application deadlines, the busier the solutions center at the Common App will be. As a result, we always encourage students to finish their applications early, so that they’ll have plenty of time to get answers to their questions and solve any technical difficulties that might arise.

To make the most of the submission process, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how to complete your applications via the Common App. If you’re looking for insight from experts, our team of college admissions counselors can point you in the right direction.


Related Topics

College Application Tips, Common App
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