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Tips for Applying to College, from U.S. News

To coincide with the release of the Common Application’s newest edition, U.S. News & World…

  • August 16, 2019

To coincide with the release of the Common Application’s newest edition, U.S. News & World Report has published an updated guide with comprehensive advice for college applicants on how to best utilize this tool.

The Common App is accepted by nearly 900 schools, and it allows prospective students to apply to multiple schools with just one application.

For students navigating this process, here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Start early. Experts recommend beginning your application about six weeks before it’s due. The newest edition of the Common App is available on Aug. 1 each year, allowing applicants time to get started before the academic year begins. The deadline to submit the completed application is 11:59 p.m. local time on Jan. 1.
  • Choose the essay prompt best suited to you. The Common App provides seven essay prompts to choose from, meaning students have some flexibility in determining the most effective way to represent themselves on paper.
  • Ask questions. The Common App provides 24/7 online technical assistance. If you’re still stuck, ask your school counselor or reach out to the colleges you’re applying to.

Guides such as this one serve U.S. News’ broader mission of providing trusted information and rankings to help students navigate their higher education options.

These include expert advice and tips on the financial aid process, college affordability, student loans and more. U.S. News also publishes annual rankings of the Best High Schools, Best Colleges, Best Global Universities, Best Graduate Schools and Best Online Programs.

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