August 15, 2011
The Common Application for this year is now up and running. Over 400 schools in the US accept this application and it is a HUGE time saver. Click here to view the list of schools that accept it. Next, have your child go here and register.
(Note that the common app is not entirely compatible with Google Chrome or AOL. Try registering through Internet Explorer.)
One very important tip (will help to avoid tears, throwing of household objects, hitting of younger siblings, etc.): Make sure your child always saves his/her work each and every time they log out or even walk away from their computer. There are few things worse than working away for hours only to lose all that hard work.
Other common app recommendations:
There is a 5-minute orientation video that I recommend watching. It will help your child ease into the process and feel more comfortable.
Add any colleges already on your child’s short list to “My Colleges” for now and plan on deleting later those that don’t make the cut. This will allow your child to see if there are any additional (supplemental) essay questions asked by a particular school. These should be looked at early on and factored into the time needed for each application.
In addition to the main personal essay, there is a short-answer writing prompt regarding an extracurricular or work experience. It’s hard to write in a meaningful way in 150 words or less but this should be taken just as seriously and given just as much care as the main essay.
Preview the application and then print a copy. The preview copy will allow your student to see if there are any areas where the response was too long and automatically chopped off (could happen with any of the responses). Make sure to thoroughly proof the final version before it is sent (read it out loud to help with this).
One final thought. Remember that your child’s application should be more than simply a listing of grades and accomplishments. It should paint a picture of who they are and highlight their strengths and individuality. It is a chance to make that admissions officer decide that your child will be an asset to their campus.