Senior Strategies: Writing the Common App

Andy Wang
Andy Wang

Our collaborative team of content writers and researchers stay up-to-date on the latest news to help you ace your applications. We hope you enjoy the blog.

With UC applications coming to a close, the time has come for a shift in the applicant’s college admission process. Next up is the Common Application. With nearly every single private school on the platform, almost every applicant will complete this one. So, let’s get writing the Common App!

Re-use your best writing

For the most part, applicants will have already started writing the Common App main essay. Even for those who have not, there are a multitude of prompts to pick from. These prompts can often draw inspiration from other applications the applicant has already done; namely, the UC app. With college admissions quickly winding down, it’s imperative that applicants focus on the Common App now. This attention will ensure that their applications represent the full extent of their abilities.

One size does not fit all

When it comes to the main essay of the Common App, there are several key points. One is that applicants can cater each Common App essay to individual schools as they can submit the application separately for each school. Unlike the UC’s, college admissions with Common App applications can be a lot more specialized to each individual school. That being said, applicants should spend time fine tuning the supplements required for each individual school.

Display your research

As we’ve mentioned before, the supplements are a great way to show genuine interest to a school and display the amount of research the applicant has done for the school’s specific programs. As such, it’s imperative to make sure the supplements do not sound generic, and are unique to the school in question.

Letters of recommendation

Besides the main essay and school supplements, there is still another key part of the Common App for an applicant to cover. This is making sure that letters of recommendation are submitted before the deadlines. Recommendations are one of the simplest but most crucial parts of the Common App; many private schools often will require at least one or two letters from either faculty or other authority figures. During the last month before the application is due, applicants should touch base with those who are writing letters for them. It’s okay to make sure they are aware of the deadlines as well. This is especially with teachers who are writing multiple letters of recommendation during college admissions season. Just making sure that your letters get in on time will save an applicant a lot of unneeded stress in the future.

Filling out activities

For the rest of the Common App, it’s mostly filling out an applicant’s personal information as well as well as extracurricular activities. For applicants who have already done other applications such as UC’s and CSU’s, this process should not take very long at all and give the applicant ample time to focus on the essays which carry significant weight.


The Common App is not much different from other applications that applicants have or will do during the college admission process. However, it’s imperative that applicants take time to work on it steadily and get them in before other distractions incur before the end of the calendar year.

Questions? Let us know!