Common Application


  1.  Visit www.commonapp.org
  2. If you have never registered, click “Never Registered? Go here”
  3. Complete the Registration page; use capital letters when appropriate and look over your information for completeness and correctness (you will not be able to make changes once you submit this form)
  4. Once you have registered, you will be taken to a page titled “My Colleges;” you will need to add the colleges you will be applying to here; click “Search for Colleges”
  5. Type in the name of the first school you would like to add and click “Search” (be sure you have correctly typed in the name of the school you are interested in)
  6. Select the correct school from the list and click “Add”
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for all of the schools you plan to apply to
    a. All of the schools you add will appear on the “My Colleges” page
    b. If you search for a school, and your query returns “0 Common App members,” make sure you have spelled the name of the school correctly or search for it using the other search criteria; if your query still returns “0 Common App members,” then the school you have searched for does not participate in the Common App; you will need to apply to schools like this on their individual websites
  8. Click on the “Future Plans” tab on the left; you will need to select each college you are applying to individually and fill out the information that follows; be sure to click “Save & Check for Errors” before selecting the next school
  9. For the most part, you are going to want your recommenders to submit electronic letters for you; in order to link them to your Common App so they can submit their letters, you will first need to fill out the “Education” section of the Common App; click on the “Education” tab on the left and fill out the form that appears; be sure to click “Save & Check for Errors” before moving on
    a. Information for the “Education” Section:
         i. The CEEB code for Tolman is 400115 (once you enter this code, the form will automatically fill out the school’s name and address)
         ii. If you are currently a senior, have not repeated any grades, and have attended Tolman all four years, enter 09/2008 as your “Date of Entry”
         iii. Enter 06/06/12 for your “Graduation Date”
         iv. Enter your Guidance Counselor’s name and contact information
              1. Carla Barbosa, Guidance Counselor
                  401.729.6418
                  barbosac@psdri.net
              2. Michaela Frattarelli, Guidance Counselor
                  401.729.6419
                  frattarellim@psdri.net
              3. Robert Jackson, Guidance Counselor
                  401.729.6415
                  jacksonrob@psdri.net
              4. Jane Renza, Head  Guidance Counselor
                  401.729.6416
                  renzaj@psdri.net
         v. When you are prompted to list any programs or organizations that have provided free assistance with your application process, please list the “National College Advising Corps;” that’s the program that I work for!
  10. Now you are ready to link your recommenders to your Common App; click on the “School Forms” tab
  11. Fill out and submit the “Release Authorization” form that appears
  12. You will be rerouted to the “School Forms” page; click “Invite Official;” fill out your first recommender’s information and click “Send Invitation”
  13. Repeat step 12 for all other recommenders
    a. Common App will automatically notify your recommenders that they need to submit their letter to the Common App website; they have been instructed how to do so by the College Guide
    b. Once you have invited your recommenders, they will appear in the list of Recommenders on the “School Forms” page; if your recommender would like you to “Resend” your request, you may do so here
  14. While still on the “School Forms” page, click on the first school that appears in the list of “My Colleges” at the top of the page; scroll down and indicate which recommenders you would like to submit a recommendation for you for that school; some schools will require only 1 recommendation, while others will require 2 or 3; as such, you will need to indicate which recommenders will be submitting letters for each of your schools
  15. Repeat step 13 for all of the schools you are applying to
  16. Now you should go back and complete the rest of the Common App; click on the “Applicant” tab and complete the information as follows; do the same for “Demographics,” “Family,” “Academics,” “Activities,” and “Writing;” always be sure to click “Save & Check for Errors” before continuing
  17. In the “Writing” section you will need to upload your Personal Essay; this essay will be sent to every school you are applying to, so be sure not to include any specific college names in it; select the topic you have chosen and click “Upload Document;” it is strongly recommended that you upload a PDF file
  18. In the “Writing” section, you will also be offered the opportunity to include any Additional Information that you deem important; this may be your resume, a letter explaining your academic transcript, or anything else you think would help clarify your application; to include any Additional Information, click “Upload Document” and select the file you would like to attach; it is strongly recommended that you upload a PDF file
  19. Most of the schools you apply to will require a supplement; to view and complete them, click on the “Supplements” tab on the left
  20. Click on the first school in your “My Colleges” list; if that school requires a supplement, you can click “Start,” or, if you have already begun working on it, “Continue”
  21. Fill out the supplement form that appears; be sure to “Save & Check for Errors;” DO NOT CLICK “SUBMIT” UNTIL YOUR ENTIRE COMMON APP IS COMPLETE AND CORRECT, AND YOU ARE READY TO SUBMIT YOUR WHOLE APPLICATION; do the same for the rest of the schools you are applying to
  22. Check and recheck your entire Common App and Supplements for completeness and correctness; once you have done so, click on the “Signature” tab; if there is any required information missing from your application, you will see a message saying so followed by a list of items you must complete before you can proceed
  23. Once you are sure your entire application is complete and correct, you may complete the “Signature” page; this is how you will submit your Common App; click on the school you would like to submit it for (you may want to submit it at different times depending on whether you are applying Early or Regular or different due dates for different schools); do this for all the schools you are applying to on or before their individual deadlines
  24. Once you have submitted your Common App to the schools you are applying to, you can submit your completed supplements for those schools; click on the “Supplements” tab, click on the school you are interested in, check over your supplement for completeness and correctness, and click the “SUBMIT” button; do this for all the schools you are applying to on or before the due date
  25. Now click on the “Payments” section; you will need to pay your college application fees with a credit card or a fee waiver; you can either use a NACAC fee waiver or a CollegeBoard fee waiver; you can use up to 4 CollegeBoard fee waivers and as many NACAC fee waivers as you like; please consult the College Guide or your guidance counselor about receiving application fee waivers
  26. To pay for an application with a fee waiver, click on the school you are interested in, and select either NACAC Fee Waiver Request or College Board Fee Waiver Request; click “Continue” and follow the instructions; you will need to either mail or fax your fee waivers to each of the schools you apply to after you submit your Common App
  27. Once you have submitted your Common App, Supplements, and Payments to each of the schools you are applying to, you’re finished! Congratulations! Now what? Sit back, relax, and be patient as you wait to hear back from your schools!

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