Common Application: What You Need to Know for 2023-24

The Common App simplifies applying to up to 20 colleges and universities because you only enter certain personal information like name, address, contact details, application type (first-year or transfer) and family info once. Let’s explore the common app further and give you some tips for presenting the best version of yourself possible.

What information will I be asked for on the Common App?

In addition to the basic information above, you will need to provide:

  • A copy of your high school transcripts
  • A list of your extracurriculars
  • Education and work history for parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • Contact preferences
  • Common App essay (read on for this year’s essay prompts)
  • College-specific questions: Each school may have additional prompts.
  • Evaluation factors: SAT/ACT scores, recommendation letters,

What is CCA’s advice for students filling out the Common App this year?

  • Start preparing early! It takes most students between 1-3 hours to complete the Common App. But it can take weeks or even months to get all of your materials together (like recommendations or essays).
  • Be thorough and do not submit until you feel confident that you are painting the best (honest) picture of yourself.
  • Be sure that you know the deadlines for each school that you are applying to.
  • Even though the process takes a while, submit your Common Application as soon as possible because there are potential advantages at some colleges for students who submit earliest.

What about those Common App Essay Prompts for 2023-24?? As promised, here they are!

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

With our expert guidance at CCA, you can conquer the Common App. We will help you to start early, stay organized, and tailor your essays so that you can present your authentic self. We know that a proactive approach will help you success with the Common App and we truly believe that it can be a positive experience!