If you’re college applicant or someone who advises college applicants, you may want to check out the Collegewise Guide to the Common Application or How to Make Your 2016-17 Common Application a Lot Less Common. Revised to reflect changes in this year’s online application, the guide is provided as a FREE download to the simply curious or anyone with a real need to know.
And this is 90 pages of pure gold. The advice and commentary are easy to follow and right on target. It’s designed for a student to keep open in one browser tab while working the Common Application in another.
“It originally started off as an internal training tool, then something we used with our own Collegewise students, and now has evolved into a 90-page (!) document that we love sharing with folks who find this kind of nuanced information useful,” writes Allison Lopour, managing director for Collegewise. “Thousands of students, parents, and counselors downloaded it last year.”
Here are some suggestions from Collegewise on how the guide may be used:
- If you haven’t started your Common App, complete each section with the help of step-by-step instructions provided with relevant definitions and commentary.
If you’ve already finished your application, use the guide to do a line-by-line review before submitting.
If you’re struggling with a particular section, use the guide as a reference tool.
Basically the guide picks up where the Common Application leaves off. In fact, the information the Common App provides is actually quite comprehensive and should be the first-line resource for completing your application. But if you don’t know which phone number to use during the registration process, Collegewise will give you some serious hints. It doesn’t rehash directions, but rather assumes you’ve read the instructions and still have a few questions. No one wants you to ignore directions, but we all know that what seems clear to one person may not be so clear to another.
For those who have used the guide in the past, you will note that the detailed screenshots that previously populated the pages and made things a little visually clearer are missing. Basically, administrators at the Common Application stopped granting permission to for-profits to use any images from the application.
Yes, there’s a little self-promotion and advertisement. And yes, you do need to provide an email address to get the download. But the value of this tool and the integrity of its authors should remove any concerns you may have about downloading and sharing it with others.
Now we’re hoping the brilliant Collegewise staff will tackle the Coalition Application!