What is the Common App?

The Common Application (aka Common App) is a non-profit organization composed of over 900-member institutions of higher education. The organization works to connect applicants to public and private colleges and universities in 50 states and 20 countries.

The Common App’s mission is to create a simplified process for college applications and they are committed to helping students find the right path for them.

About the Common App Team

Common App uses partnerships and outreach initiatives to help under-resourced educators increase their abilities to help students who need them the most. They have partnered with organizations like Reach Higher and UpNext to help simplify the application process.

To date, the Common App works with 894 schools worldwide.

How does the Common App work?

The Common App has a 4-step process that guides students through college applications:

  1. Create a profile: During this process, you outline everything you want a school to know about you. Your profile will include your academic achievements and extracurricular activities.
  2. Make your list of colleges: During this process, you can create a list of schools based on different characteristics like location and area of study. This will give you results of schools that best align with what’s most important to you based on the characteristics you selected.
  3. List of Requirements: This step is where you create a checklist of everything required for each school you apply to. Since each school has its own requirements, it’s important to stay organized and on top of the list to complete all of the necessary tasks.
  4. Submit your application(s): Finish out your academic year and hit the submit button on those applications!


After submitting your applications, all that’s left is filing your FAFSA®.