Common App Complications
As we enter another school year, the time has come again for our seniors to begin their college applications, and as the issue at hand becomes more and more relevant, the seniors will need more and more information. Among the most important task of application season is the common application.
The common app is a program that allows students to apply to multiple schools, in a central location. There are approximately five hundred schools on the website, each with their own requirements. Everyone from parents/guardians, to counselors, and past teachers all have an influence on whether or not you finish your common app and how academically competitive it is.
Although it is the responsibility of the student to fill out each form, there are parts of the common app which require help from additional sources. One section of the application asks for your parent/guardian’s schooling history. It is required to answer not only what college they went to but also how long they went to that particular school, and what degree(s) they acquired while there, and if it just so happens that your parent/guardian went to more than one college you will be asked to give further information on those college(s) as well.
Our knowledge of the college admissions process should not start in the 12th grade, in September, when deadlines are already nearing. The Common Application opened on August 1, 2013 and there are still many seniors who have not begun. Even more, there are many underclassmen that have no clue what it is. When asked, 7 out of 10 juniors had no idea what common app was, and even worse 18 out of 20 seniors that had not even begun by mid September.
Nevertheless, Imani English, a senior at King/ Drew took the opposite approach and decided to be proactive in her journey to apply to college. When asked what the hardest part of the application was she stated “the parent’s education aspect”. English, a student athlete, was not particularly selective in choosing schools to apply to. As far as staff support, Imani said that Dr. Graeber was among the most helpful. She does not plan on using the Common App solely to apply to the colleges she would like to go to, because not all of the schools she would like to attend are listed on the website.
The Common App is a collective effort between students, school staff, and parents as a whole. If in any of these three components are missing, then the student will have a harder time finishing the Common App successfully. All seniors should make it a priority to at least explore the Common App. Even if you don’t plan on applying to any of the schools available, the Common Application is still a good tool for getting a general feel for the college application process itself.
Start early, and don’t be afraid to get ahead start; the road to college is not one traveled quickly.