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The 2018-19 Common Application is Live!!

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Sound the alarms!! The Common Application is live for the 2018-19 college admissions season! The time for procrastination is over. (We know, it hurts.)  It’s time to get your affairs in order and begin your college applications — if you haven’t already. We have compiled some FAQs as related to the new Common App and what you might expect as you log in. So check out all of this info that will help you get started below! Trust us: you’ll thank us later.

So, the Common App is live. What does that mean?

It means you have no more excuses to postpone your college applications. The Common Application is a tool in which you are able to use a single application platform to apply to as many as 20 schools. Since there are over 750 colleges that accept the Common App, you will most likely be submitting a least a few applications through this website by the end of the year. Since it has relaunched with 2018-19 updates, you’re free to start filling out your basic information, familiarizing yourself with the application requirements and, you guessed it, writing your college essays!

What is the Common App’s personal statement?

The personal statement is the Common Application’s main essay assignment, and what most people think of as “the college essay.” It has a 650 word maximum and students have to choose one of seven prompts to respond to in their answer. This essay should tell admissions something new about yourself that isn’t already reflected in your application. The personal statement is also one of your only opportunities to speak to admissions in your own voice, which is why it is important to maximize the impact of this crucial component of your application. If you haven’t started the personal statement, you should set aside some time to start brainstorming your topic very soon!

What are supplemental essays?

Many schools want to learn as much about as an applicant as possible, so the individual admissions departments come up with questions for students to answer in essay form. These essays must be completed in addition to the personal statement. We have found that supplemental essays usually fit into five categories: the why, activity, community, oddball, or short essay.  You can find the supplemental essay requirements for over 125 schools in our College Supplemental Essay Prompt Directory or access our Supplemental Essay Guide for detailed breakdowns of the prompts for almost 100 schools. We’ve already updated the guides for the likes of Columbia, USC, Wake Forest, Stanford, Michigan, and more — and updates for additional schools will be on the way soon!

Are there schools that don’t require any supplemental essays?

Yes! You can find a list of many schools that don’t ask students to write additional essays (not even optional ones) here!

Can you help me with my essays?

We sure can! Check out our one-on-one advising page to learn more about how you can get set up with a personal essay Advisor,  fill out a contact form to hear from one of our customer service representatives or check out our online course that will walk you through the college essay writing process step-by-step!

We hope you’re as excited as we are to dive into the 2018-19 college application season (and take advantage of all the Common Application has to offer)!

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