The Common App has a standard section regarding counselors on the First Year Student and Transfer Student forms, which asks for the adviser’s name, title, email, and telephone and fax numbers. This allows the school to have an official contact person regarding your academic information. The adviser or counselor’s title can vary from school to school. Some schools simply call them guidance counselors, while others may be Director of College Counseling. Check with your personal counselor for his or her exact title.
In addition to the standard form, different school require various information be provided from teachers and counselors. These additional forms are now available to be filled out by the teacher or counselor online through the Common App Online School forms system. If the teacher or counselor prefers, the forms are also available as PDF files that can be printed, filled out, and mailed to the college. Please check the Requirements Grid to see how many recommendations your prospective school requires.
Common App allows each of its colleges and universities to require a different set of criteria from applicants. A typical requirement for art applicants is the Common App arts supplement. If the institution for which you are applying requires supplements, all supplements must be submitted before your application can be complete. If an applicant would like to have his or her unique talent in one or more of the arts considered as part of the admission process, then a supplements must be presented. Everything is set up through Common App to be submitted online, though there are some schools that have other requirements that require applicants to be redirected to the school’s specific criteria.
The Activities Chart is where activities and experience will be listed. If you feel that the chart is too narrow for your personal experience, you can also submit a supplemental resume by uploading it on the “Additional Information” area in the writing section.
For Common App art teacher evaluations you will print out the “Teacher Evaluation Form”. First, complete all information in the applicant information area, then give the teacher or counselor a printout of the form along with a stamped addressed envelope for the college at which you are applying. Please check the Requirements Grid to see how many recommendations are required by the school.
If you plan to submit a counselor recommendation, first print the “Secondary School Report”, and give it to your counselor with a stamped addressed envelope for each college. The counselor will then submit a “Mid Year Report” after first semester grades are complete and will later submit the “Final Report”. Some schools have supplements to these reports for counselors as well.
Common App allows for students to also submit links to websites containing the prospective student’s online art portfolios, video of performing arts on websites like YouTube, and online photography portfolios via the “Art Supplements” section. Please check the Requirements Grid for the school at which you are applying to check for specific guidelines and preferences. Most schools now prefer online submissions, but some may want you to print and complete the Arts Supplement and send it with a resume, an instructor’s letter of recommendation, and a CD or DVD of your work.
Over the past year, The Common Application has gained 49 new colleges and universities as members, bringing the total number of Common App member institutions to 460.
As a result of the ongoing evolution of the essay requirements, The Common App essay length has been changed, implementing a word limit of 500 words. Specifically, the format for the Common App essay is that students should respond to one of the following “prompts” or “essay questions” in 250 to 500 words:
1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
6. Topic of your choice.
Stay tuned for a good Common App essay sample. If you would like to submit a sample essay, please use the contact page to do so and we will post it on this website to help provide direction for students seeking further information about the Common App essay.
In closing, please remember to keep in mind the 500 word limit for your Common Application essay. The creators of the essay have intentionally limited the length requirements so that tighter, more concise essays are submitted.