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The Common Application is live for the 2022-23 application season, which means students can begin submitting their applications right now! Students who made their Common App accounts and began exploring the platform prior to August 1, 2022 may have noticed that there’s a new section this year that some schools are opting to include in their “Application Questions.”
This section is called “Context & Background” and it reads:
Sometimes students’ academic record and extracurricular activities are impacted by family responsibilities or other circumstances. Colleges want to better understand these responsibilities and circumstances. You may repeat some information you already provided in the Common App Activities section.
Which of these do you spend significant time doing? Please select each activity on which you spend 8 or more hours per week.
_Assisting household members with situations such as doctor appointments, bank visits, or visa interviews
_Cooking meals for my household
_Driving around family members
_Helping someone who does not live in my house (neighbor, etc.)
_House tasks – cleaning, laundry, etc.
_Interpreting or translating for household members
_Living in an environment without reliable internet access
_Living on my own/ don’t live at home
_Managing family finances, budget, and/ or paying bills
_Religious practice/ study
_Taking care of animals
_Taking care of my siblings
_Taking care of sick, disabled, and/ or elderly members of my household
_Taking care of my own child/children
_Working at a paid job to contribute to my household’s income
_Working (paid or unpaid) for a family business
_Yard work/ farm work
_Other (please describe)
Students may check as many boxes as they like, but the Common App specifies that the applicant must spend eight (8) or more hours per week on each of the activities selected.
This is an exciting development in the college application world, since many students bear responsibilities at home that prevent them from engaging more deeply with their school community and extracurricular activities.
Should you choose to select “Other,” a text box will appear for you to expand in 150 characters or fewer. We recommend using the words at your disposal to enlighten admissions as to the ways in which you allocate your time and contribute to your household.
If you do not spend at least eight (8) hours per week doing any of the activities listed, feel free to skip this section. Admissions will still be able to learn about what you do outside of the classroom through your activity list!
As always, we wish you the best of luck! 🙂