On The Common App: Introduction and Orientation

When first encountering the Common App dashboard, a lot of students feel overwhelmed and confused before they even start the application itself. However, the Common App is intuitive and easy to navigate with a bit of guidance and knowhow. In this series, we will provide tips and instruction on how to navigate the Common Application interface and how to fill out the Common App itself. To begin, the Common App web interface has five sections: the dashboard, “My Colleges,” the Common App itself, college search, and financial resources. When you first log-on, your dashboard and “My Colleges” tabs are empty. By switching over to your college search tab, you can find your desired schools and add them to your “My Colleges” list, which will populate your dashboard with individual schools’ supplemental requirements. Your dashboard will be an important space for keeping track of writing prompts and upcoming deadlines. Notification and submission of college-specific requirements and essays will be managed through the “My Colleges” section, separate from the Common Application section and your Common App essay.

Having set up our account and dashboard, the rest of the interface itself should be self-explanatory from that point forward. Having orientated ourselves with the platform, we’re ready to move on to navigating the Common Application itself. In the following blog, we will address the structure of the Common App and some common student and parent questions.

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