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What to Know Before Submitting the New Typical App [Part 4]

Posted by admin on in College Advice |

IMG 8223 This morning, the most popular Application sent out their “September 2013 School Officials Update, ” that provides a few tips and reminders to get completing CA4. According to their newsletter ( sign up for it here ), they are now “actively exploring how to clarify processes surrounding print preview, fee waivers, self-reported testing, and essay pasting. ” Clearly, the bugs and mistakes we saw surrounding the new Common App were not limited to the first few days of the existence! Until using the Common App becomes a truly hassle-free experience, here are a few more suggestions to help you best manage CA4.


13. Check out those Help Center tips to the ideal of your screen

Individuals little notes that you probably have been ignoring can actually contain incredibly essential pieces of information! Take this screen photo from the University of Chicago’s composing supplement page:

New Common Application Essay Help

When you click on the little [+] sign, the tip expands to reveal suggested word limits for their supplemental essays: 250 words for that short essays and approximatley five hundred words for the extended essay. Good to know, right? Or how about this particular note on Bard’s general questions tab:

New Common App Scholarship Prompt

That’s right! If you happened to skip that little item to the right of your screen, you wouldn’t know to apply for a full college tuition scholarship dedicated to get science and math majors. Spend some time filling out each page of the program, and don’t forget to peruse individuals tips!


14. Cutting and pasting your main essay

According to Microsoft Word, the essay comes in at exactly 624 words. When I cut and paste that same essay into the “ Personal Essay ” text box of the main program, the word count suddenly becomes 594. A different essay of 650 words and phrases transforms into 602 words at the Common App. What’s going on here? When I emailed the Help Desk to get advice, a tech named John replied, “Do this: copy your essay into note pad, after which re-paste it back into the common program. ” As it turns out, Microsoft Term sometimes adds invisible formatting to your text that may be affecting the word count feature of the Common App. In order to allay your fears that huge chunks of text are magically disappearing from your essay, first exchange your essay into Notepad (for Windows users) or TextEdit (for Apple users). These plain-text programs will strip your essay of hidden formatting so that cutting plus pasting your essay into the Typical App should give you a more accurate word count. (Although the last time I tried it, the Common App was nevertheless off by one word! )

Use Notepad to copy and paste your Common App essay

15. Identified issues and progress updating

A few of our students have got informed us that their high schools are having difficulty uploading transcripts and recommendations through Naviance. According to the Common App’s “Known Issues” page , this is a issue their IT folks are keenly conscious of and are working to solve. We imagine that both Naviance and the Common App will have solutions in place soon.


16. Making updates to your essay

I can not officially test this (because I am not really going to submit my program anywhere), but according to the Common App instructions, students are allowed to create corrections to their main essay as much as three times. In years past, students could produce multiple versions of their application plus toggle back and forth between the various types without difficulty. Now, students who wish to revise, correct, or in some way personalize their main essays must be aware that once they’ve made three edits, no more modifications are allowed. In other words, your old essay versions aren’t stored someplace in the system, giving you the ability to gain access to them again for future institutions. So if you’re going to make essay edits, be sure you’re happy with your modifications after the third alteration; you’re locked in from that point on!

If you’re looking for more tips, be sure to look at part 1 , part 2 , and part 3 or more of my collection on completing the new Common Software (CA4). Do you have questions about the new Common App? Submit them here, and one of our experts will post a response!



Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions professionals . Prior to joining College Trainer, Elyse was a senior admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.

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