As we officially move into summer, rising seniors have started thinking about the what, when, and how of college applications. Most applicants will be using the Common App, a convenient, “one-stop” platform used by nearly every well-known college: all 12 Florida state universities, all 8 Ivies, and many out-of-state private and public schools, including this year’s new members, Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin. Creating your Common App account is a simple matter of going to commonapp.org and inputting your email and other personal data. Once you create your login, navigating the platform is relatively straightforward. You can begin your Common App today – right after you finish reading this! – even though you can’t send anything to colleges until after August 1st. Here’s why.
Each year, the Common App makes a few changes to its application pages, and for the class of 2023, the changes are minor. If you work on your Common App before the “rollover” to the latest application version (which takes place around July 28 leading up to the August 1 “live” application), all information entered on the main page’s seven sections will save and “roll over” to the new application version (Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, Writing, Courses & Grades pages). Nice. You may add colleges to the My Colleges tab – and this list will save as part of the rollover. However, skip answering colleges’ own questions, or writing any supplemental essays required by a specific school, until after the rollover, as these questions may change. Do likewise with the FERPA release and recommenders: complete these pages after the August 1 rollover. Planning to add Florida International University or Texas A&M to your college list today? New members won’t appear in the College Search tool until August 1; see the Common App blog for those schools joining for the 2022-23 application cycle.
Additionally, be aware of some slight changes to the gender and prefix questions you’ll answer within the Profile and other sections – you’ll need to answer the new versions of these questions. The fee waiver question also will be updated in the rollover to reflect a more equitable approach. You may answer these questions now but plan to review your responses after August 1 to ensure that you’ve completed them to your satisfaction.
Questions about working on your Common App? Give us a call! Our educational consulting team is ready to help you. In addition to our 1:1 college planning, we are offering several small-group in-person and virtual summer workshops, along with our annual hybrid Suncoast/Boca High Common App Boot Camp -- all designed to help you jump-start your college applications before you start your senior year.