Back in 1975, administrators from fifteen colleges got together and decided to create one application that students could use to apply to any or all of their colleges. This was the birth of “The Common App” which, as of 2018, is accepted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States. More than one million students are expected to use this year’s Common App – which went live with its latest updates on August 1st – to apply to more than four million colleges and universities.
The Common App is an online application that asks a series of questions in several categories, including: parents’ educational history and current employment, students’ SAT/ACT/AP test scores, senior year courses, high school activities, and intended college major. There is also an essay of 250 to 650 words that is required by the majority of Common App colleges. Students, this year, have a choice of seven essay topics, one of which states, “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.” So the topic options are truly limitless!