4 things to know about the Common Application

4 things to know about the Common Application


So you’ve made the decision to pursue a four-year degree after high school. You’ve done a fair amount of research on the colleges and universities that you’d like to apply to, visited a couple campuses and attended some information sessions. Before you know it, it’s college admissions season, and it’s time to start those applications. You’re aware that some schools have their own application, but that there’s also something called the Common Application. But what exactly is it?

It’s known for being an efficient way of applying to college by using one standard application with a fixed set of requirements for each school. Over 600 colleges accept it, and while some colleges solely accept applications via the Common Application, there are others that let you choose whether to apply using their application or the Common Application (like Marymount University).

Now you’re probably wondering, “How do I use this method?” Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of four things that you should know as you consider this application option.

1. You can start the Common Application whenever you want.

There isn’t really a start date for the Common Application. However, when new editions are released, any information in the old Common App will be erased. Nonetheless, the first step to using the Common Application is to create an account. You don’t have to prepare much for this step, as all you need is your name, date of birth, address, phone number and a valid email address. You should register with an email address you check regularly because this is the primary way that you will be contacted and sent updates and reminders.

2. There are a common set of requirements.

It’s called the Common Application for a reason. For all applications, you will need the following documents and information:

  • A copy of your high school transcript
  • A list and description of extracurricular activities
  • Test scores and test dates from your college entrance exams (SAT, ACT)
  • Parent/legal guardian information (educational background, occupational information, employer information, etc.)

If you need guidance or have questions on this process, you can visit the Common App’s Application Dictionary.

3. Every school has its unique touch to the application.

While there is a common set of requirements for all schools, some schools may require you to provide other application materials. Here, you can view each school’s decision plans, deadlines, fees and requirements.

4. The Common Application provides a plethora of useful resources to prospective students.

Have any questions regarding how to navigate the path to college? This will be your guide. Here, you can find FAQs, videos, top tips and advice from experts about college.


Whichever application path you choose to pursue, you now have some insight into one application option that is designed to efficiently help you navigate a variety of application processes. As mentioned previously, students applying to Marymount (which we hope will include you!) can choose to apply using the Common Application or Marymount’s application. If you want more information about the Marymount application, click here.