How Do I Complete the Education Page of the Common App?

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The Common Application Education Page – Tips

Most questions on the Common Application’s Education page are quite straightforward. Here are some tips for those questions that are not:

Grades Section

If you attend a public high school, your Class rank reporting is probably “Exact” - a specific number indicating your academic rank within your senior class. Your transcript should contain both your Class rank and the Graduating class size.

If you attend a private school, chances are that your school does not rank; in this case, select “none” for Class rank reporting.

There are also some schools that rank students in quartiles, quintiles, or deciles, all of which are selectable options on this page – and you’ll also be able to indicate in which quartile, quintile, or decile you fall. If your high school does rank, then it’s likely that the rank is weighted – so select weighted in response to the Rank weighting question.

The Cumulative GPA should be the highest one reported on your transcript, if there is one. If not, it’s OK to leave it blank, as it’s not a required field. However, if you did specify your GPA, and your school’s grading scale equates a grade of A to 4 points, and a grade of B to 3 points, etc, then your GPA Scale is 4, even if your GPA is above a 4.0. If you go to a school with another grading scale, it’s best to check with your counselor to be certain what scale is used. The basic rule of thumb to identify your grading scale: use the number associated with a grade of A. If the Cumulative GPA you entered has extra weight added for courses like Honors, AP, IB, AICE, or Dual Enrollment, then select Weighted in response to GPA weighting; otherwise select Unweighted, or leave it blank if you do not know.

Current Year Courses Section

When you list senior-year courses on the Education page, include both semesters. List courses in this order:

  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social science
  • Foreign language
  • Other core courses
  • Non-core electives

You will be able to select the level of each course, such as H, AP, IB, or Dual Enrollment, so don’t include these abbreviations in the name of each course when you type it. However, AICE has again been omitted from the Common App, so do include it in the course name and select “Accelerated” as the course level.

Honors Section

Common App gives you room to list up to five academic honors. Begin with the most important honors, such as these recognitions: National Honor Society, AP Scholar, National Merit. If you have more than five academic honors, either drop the least important ones or combine a few together, like this:

Academic Achievement Awards: H Algebra 2, H Precalc, AP Calc AB, AP Chem, AP English Lang
National Academic Honor Societies: Math, Spanish, French

If you need more help, just ask! We literally help hundreds of students annually!

Topics: College Admission Common Application Tutoring Educational-Consulting


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