As summer progresses, and the pandemic continues to surge, the Common App returns with some important updates as it opens for the 2020-2021 applicant season. The Common App is self-described as a “non-profit membership organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process.” They currently offer access to more than 900 colleges and universities worldwide. Sit back, and let us guide you through what you need to know about the Common App TODAY!

Common App Updates

  1. The Common App website will now offer more resources to support families going through the college process. Resources range anywhere from information on application fees to scholarships and financial aid.
  2. There will now be a space provided by the Common App for the student to detail the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in their private and school life.
  3. More than 40 new universities will be joining Common App’s roster in the new season.
  4. Common App will be launching an app along with a texting campaign, aiming to reach and aid more underserved populations.

Our Common App Advice

1. Begin NOW!

No matter what grade you are in. Seniors, begin drafting those essays, and filling out all personal information. This can become a lengthy yet delicate process, one that should not be rushed. For that reason, early drafting can be crucial to a healthy application process. Juniors and younger, now is your opportunity to get a gist of what the Common App is about. You are allowed to sign up for an account early to begin viewing the application process. We recommend getting ahead of the rest, and checking out the 2020-2021 application requirements. Make sure you are familiars with the ways in which Covid-19 is changing the application process.

2. Be Flexible!

Be Flexible! Understand that some of these recent changes may not be permanent. If you are not applying during the 2020-2021 season, be prepared for more changes ahead. Schools may revert to their normal patterns, or they may continue to make changes. We do not have the power to know, only the power to remain flexible.

3. Rule of 4’s!

A good number to use during this process is 4. Apply to 4 safety schools, 4 plausible schools, and 4 reach schools.

4. Check Your Schools!

4. Check your schools! Some schools offer application fee waivers, or might not even charge one. Common App now allows students to filter by schools that do not charge an application fee. However, we still encourage or financially restricted students to apply for schools that charge fees, as some do offer fee waivers on an as-needed basis.

5. Clean up and Consolidate!

Clean up your social media accounts as well as your workspace. Keep things online clean, and keep all of your college materials in one place. Consider starting a separate email account purposed solely for college-related emails and networking.

As always, the College Ready Team of Certified College Admission Consultants, are available and ready to assist you. Go to and schedule a free Strategy Session to see if you are on the right track.

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