Your personal statement in your college application is complete and your activities page looks flawless. Now it’s time to convert your attention to the “My Colleges” tab and submit your Typical Application!
My Colleges: Writing Supplements
So here’s my biggest pet peeve with the Common App this year. The school writing supplements can be anywhere! While some colleges don’t require any additional works (such as Fordham, Ithaca, or Middlebury), many colleges do. To access those supplements, you’ll need to head over to the “My Colleges” tab. Click the name of a school (see the Hampshire example below). In the remaining hand menu, if you see a “Writing Supplement” heading with “Questions” listed below it, some kind of additional writing is necessary.
But for some schools, the additional essay isn’t listed as a official “Writing Supplement. ” Boston University’s additional essays are hidden under “Essay Questions” on the “Application Questions” page, while Goucher’s essays can be found on the “Academics” tab of “Application Questions. ”
To make matters worse, some schools that do have creating supplements are showing up as not getting writing supplements on the “Dashbard” tab of the Common App. Do you see the red dashes under the “Writing Supplement” column below? That’s meant to suggest which schools don’t include a creating supplement as part of their application. Yet because Caltech lists their additional essays on the “Required Short Answers & Essay Prompts” tab under “Application Questions” (and not as the “Writing Supplement”), students could very easily assume that Caltech doesn’t require extra writing – when, in fact , they do!
To be fair, this really isn’t the Common App’s fault; it all comes down to how colleges are choosing to sort out and organize their supplemental queries. Cornell University places their additional questions in the “Writing Supplement” area, while Lewis & Clark College does not. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. So , seniors, be extra cautious when filling out each school’s supplement. You never understand where an extra writing assignment may be hidden.
Submitting the normal App
In order to print preview and submit your application, every section of your Common Application (as well as the school-specific questions for the “My Colleges” tab) need to be finish. If your Common App shows just about all green check marks, you’re within the clear. If the check mark is missing, you’ll need to go back into that particular section and look for a question marked with a red asterisk. Then, and only after that, will you see the “Review and Submit” button on the “My Colleges” tab.
Don’t worry – nothing is going to be submitted until after you proof the PDF of your Common App, pay out the application fee, and complete the signature page.
One final tip to get completing the Common Application: occasionally, when i was playing around with my own app, I’d notice that essay text boxes would suddenly vanish. I could still see the essay prompt, but the area to type in a response had vanished. After contacting the Common App Help Center at 9: 30 on a Saturday morning, I received the helpful and courteous response. I actually closed my browser (I had been using Google Chrome) and re-opened it. After logging into my Common App account again, the problem had corrected itself.
We hope this insider’s view in to the Common Application has been helpful! Please feel free to post questions about your own Common App experiences below. Certainly one of our admissions experts will be certain to respond! (And for those of you who are searching for an alternate to the Common App, be sure to check out the Universal College Application – an extremely user-friendly application that’s accepted simply by dozens of top colleges across the country. Our UCA tips weblog will tell you all about this! )
For all of our Common App 2014-15 tips, be sure to check out the rest of the posts in this series:
- What to Know About the Common App 2014-15 | Part 1
- What to Know About the Common App 2014-15 | Part 2