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Apply to college
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Whether you're applying to college for the first time or transferring to complete your degree, here’s how to get started on your college application.
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What is Common App?
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Each year, more than 1 million students apply to more than 900 Common App member colleges worldwide through our online college application platform.

Follow the steps below to get started, or visit our first-year and transfer application guides for more information.

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Create your profile
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Your Common App profile is your chance to shine. It’s everything you want a college or university to know about you - from your academic coursework to your extracurricular activities.

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Add colleges to your list
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Now you get to decide what’s most important to you in a college or university. Search through the characteristics and add colleges that align with them.

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Gather requirements
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Once you’ve decided where you want to apply, make a checklist of everything required. Each college and university is different, so make sure you stay on top of their application requirements.

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Submit applications
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Be sure to take a moment to celebrate this huge accomplishment! And remember to finish the academic year on a high note, apply for financial aid and prepare for the future.

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The application guides
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Now that you know what to expect from the process, you’re ready to apply. We’ve created two simple guides, one for first-year and one for transfer applicants.

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For first-time students
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Use this guide if you’re in high school and intend to apply as a first-time full-time freshman. It will walk you through the application from start to finish.

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For transfer students
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If you’re looking to transfer to a four-year institution or intend to restart your college journey, this is the place to get started.

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Essay Prompts
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The Common App essay prompts provide an amazing opportunity for you to tell colleges and universities about who you are and how you can contribute to your future campus experience.

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Explore colleges on Common App
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Search more than 900 member colleges and universities using Common App. See application requirements, access virtual tours, learn about academic programs, testing policies and student experience on campus. Get started today to add colleges to your My Colleges tab in application.

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Get Common App on your phone
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Take Common App with you where ever you go. Our mobile app helps you track your progress, stay on top of application requirements, and manage deadlines.

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College exploration and planning
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There are so many important factors involved in finding the right college for you. Here are some resources to help you discover the most important qualities in your future college campus.

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Download Common App for mobile
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Whether you're at home or on the go, we're here to support you throughout your journey in applying to college. 

Download Common App for mobile

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Explore the COVID-19 question
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We want to make sure you have the opportunity to provide details about how COVID-19 has impact you personally and academically on your college applications. If you need it, there is a question on the Common App this year and you will only have to complete the question once. The question is located in the Additional Information section of the application, and will allow colleges and universities to better understand your experience. Your school counselor will also have space in the Common App recommender system to talk about how the pandemic affected your school.

Learn how to plan for the question, and if responding to the question is right for you, by visiting our blog.

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Start your college essay
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Wondering how to approach the college essay? Common App's Scott Anderson offers his timely advice on sharing your personal and academic experience. Learn more on our blog.

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Start your application today
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Description
Whether you're applying to college for the first time or transferring to complete your degree, here’s how to get started on your college application.