Meet Your New Friend: The Common Ap

Doing you a favor, or just them?

By: AM (college admissions)

Hello! This is part of a series documenting my journey from selecting colleges, to finally hitting the ‘send’ button on my online applications. It all started here.

The next day, after volunteering from 9-5 (typical) I went to the library, where I had better luck than I did yesterday.

I picked up six books. One about scholarships, two about writing admission essays, two about strengthening college applications, and one called the Princeton Review’s College Navigator which I highly recommend for finding which colleges are strong in certain areas.

Sidenote: If you want to know which specific books I used, just ask me below in the comments section

After picking up my literature, I drove home. Then, I thought I’d get started on finding my recommendation letters. I emailed a teacher who was very fond of me, and agreed to write a letter of recommendation for me. Not wanting to sound like an idiot, I spent almost 45 minutes writing a one paragraph e-mail. Talk about good time management. The rest of the night consisted of reading the books I picked up followed by some sleep.

I woke up the next day, and rushed to my laptop, already thinking about what site I was getting. The date was August 1st. It was kinda like Christmas. Except instead of presents and cookies, I was met with the Common App. For those of you who don’t know what the Common App is, it’s an application that most colleges use for general information.

The Common App asks questions about your personal information, test scores, schedule, and extracurriculars. All the schools that use the Common App have a supplement, where the schools can ask questions of their own. After I got back from my volunteering job, I added all of the 22 colleges that I was planning on applying to “My College List” and filled out all my personal information (the easy stuff). But not having a parent around, I decided to stop when it asked about parental information and social security numbers.

Now all I needed to do was finalize my college list, get a list of the essays questions for each college I was applying to, develop a consolidated list of my academic achievements and extracurriculars, summarize my collegiate goals, and formulate an idea of how I was going to respond to the essay questions.

And this was just so I could give my teacher all of the information needed to write an exemplary recommendation letter. I had my work cut out for me

The night consisted of using my College Navigator to research all the schools I had on my long list. It took a long time. Not even done, I fell asleep at one, so I could get up in time to drive downtown for my volunteering job.

Read more in Part 3 of Geting Into College

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One thought on “Meet Your New Friend: The Common Ap

  1. The common app is just another lazily set up barrier college admissions officers create to screen us students. That said, I have about 4 more to finish

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