Common Questions About the Common Application

Q: What is our class size?
A: There are 83 students in the class of 2019.

Q: How do we report GPA?
A: GPA is reported on an unweighted 100 scale.

Q: What graduation date do I report?
A: 06/19/2019.

Q: Where do I report information about National Honor Society?
A: Since National Honor Society selection is done at the school level, you should designate it as a school honor.

Q: How do I match my Common Application with Naviance?
A: Follow this link to watch a video explaining the five-step process to match your Common Application to your Naviance account. You must sign the FERPA waiver prior to matching your accounts (see next question.)

Q: How do I sign the FERPA waiver?
A: All applicants complete the FERPA waiver from within their Common App accounts by clicking the Assign Recommenders tab for any college within My Colleges. The FERPA waiver is only completed once and covers all current and future colleges and recommenders. Once a student invites the counselor or recommender, the FERPA selection locks and cannot be changed.

For students at Naviance schools: the FERPA section locks as soon as the applicants match their Common App and Naviance accounts.

Q: What is my guidance counselor's phone number and title?
A: 732-681-1010, School Counselor.

Q: I would like my coach, pastor, boss, etc. to submit a letter of reference to my colleges. Is this possible?
A: Select a school from your list in the Common Application. If you see "other recommenders" on the school's page, you can invite the external recommender to upload a letter of reference.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when filling out the Common Application?
A: Here are two good articles that summarize common mistakes:

Q: Heard any good podcasts about the Common App?
A: I would recommend

This is my 10/14/16 post about the podcast:

As many of you know I'm a bit of a podcast junkie. My commute gives me quiet time to focus on professional (and personal) growth and there are some shows that give me insight into the professional lives of other people in related professions.  Getting In: A College Coach Conversation is one such podcast.

The show indicated below is specific to the 2016-2017 Common Application. I field questions for the Common Application regularly, but I rely a lot on the students to sign in to show me where on the application the question arises from.

Some of the things I learned about this year's Common Application that I wanted to share are:
  • Students will be asked if they are interested in Scholar Snapp. It's a resource that it best described as a common application for applying to scholarships. As a school counselor, I have wonder how this resource got connected to the Common Application (I don't have the answer.) Go to to determine if you want to participate.
  • Hidden supplemental essays are more common than I realized. For example, Cornell University does not disclose an essay topic until you select which school you will be applying to and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business asks applicants to create a new account before the applicant can see the supplemental essays. Time management is key in applying to college and this is a perfect example of why not to leave a task until the deadline.
Q: When can I start on the Essay Prompts?
A: Start as soon as they are released. The 2018-2019 Essay Prompts are here.

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