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Universal College Application Tips | Part 3 | College Coach Blog

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Universal College Application Tips: Alternate Versions and the way to Request Letters of Recommendation

describe the image You’re in the home stretch! Now that you have filled out the Universal College Program, just a few steps remain. Read on to understand about creating alternate versions of the application, as well as how to request references from your guidance counselor and teachers. And stay tuned for our insider’s watch to using the Common Application. Expert tips on completing the Common App will be posted in August.


Step 8:

Once every required field is total and you’ve had a trusted adult (or two) proof your application for typos, you’ll be ready to post your UCA. Similar to the Common App, once you’ve submitted your application to schools A, B, and D, you won’t be allowed to make any kind of changes on your forms for those specific schools. However (and this is a LARGE however), you can create as many “copies” of your application as you like for submission to other schools. Which leads me to my next tip…

Application Tip & REALLY nice change from the Common App: If you want to apply being an English major to some schools yet a creative writing major to others… if you want to submit SAT scores to some schools but ACT scores to others… if you want to submit an article about community service to some institutions but an essay about sports to others… you can easily create limitless “copies” of your original application (even before it’s been submitted! ). The Common App frowns on this. Actually frowns on this. So much so that they restrict you to three versions of your program (one original plus two alternates). But the UCA lets applicants decide if, how, and when they want to personalize their own application. To save yourself some time, you will likely want to plan this out ahead of time:

  • On a scrap piece of paper, figure out how you’d like to “group” your schools based on the number of application versions you’ll need to produce. Perhaps you need two groups: one where you’ll be applying being an economics major; and one where you’ll be applying as a business main.
  • Only add the particular schools from group 1 for your application list first. These institutions will now be linked.
  • When you’re ready to create a duplicate of your application, add the second group of schools to your list. On the “application” page, click on the “start new” key if you want a blank application that you have to complete from scratch; or select “start since copy” if you want to pre-load information from the previous version you created. If you undertake the latter, you’ll still have the option of editing or tweaking any sections you prefer.

While these types of guidelines may sound a little challenging, the UCA is very forgiving! If you make a mistake and place a school to the wrong application group, just remove it and try it again. (you actually delete a school from your university list by going to the “my colleges” tab and clicking on the “i” button; then select the “in progress” tab and hit “remove. ”)

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Step 9:

Pay your application fees and complete any required supplements for colleges that ask for additional essays or school-specific details.


Step 10:

To request that your instructor or school counselor complete a letter of recommendation, click on “school forms” at the top of the main page. You’ll remember that required forms are grouped by form type. Examples include: early choice agreement; first marking period; instruction recommendation; school report; midyear statement, etc . So let’s say you need a teacher to submit a letter of recommendation to the University associated with Rochester on your behalf.   Under the “instructor recommendation” section, click on the “request brand new instructor recommendation” button. You can then choose which schools that teacher may submit his/her letter to. Remember that your teacher/school counselor must have a legitimate email address to complete the online form. Savings PDF versions of the recommendation forms are available at www.universalcollegeapp.com should your teacher/counselor prefer to post his/her letter offline.

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Application Tip: Should you run into any kind of difficulties while completing the UCA, click on the “help” link from any kind of screen (it’s located in the upper-right hand corner) or visit https://applywithus.kayako.com/uca.

That’s it! You’re accomplished. Given this is my first time utilizing the Universal College Application, I cannot overstate how impressed I am by just how intuitive and user-friendly this system will be. If only more colleges would join the UCA membership group, the Common App would really get a operate for its money!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the ultimate installment of our tips for the Universal College Application. For all of our Universal College Application tips, be sure to browse the rest of the posts in this series:



Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s group of college admissions experts . Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked in admissions from Barnard College and Bennington College.

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