Use Your Summer Vacation Wisely

On Friday, July 13th at 11:59 pm EST, the 2011-2012 Common Application online will shutdown so that the data can be “dumped.”  The 2012-2013 online Common Application, as well as individual college supplements, will be available on August 1st.  This is a great opportunity for all of you to put in information at a relaxed pace…during the “lazy days of summer.”

Right now, if you go into you can access a pdf Preview of the 2012-2013 Common Application form.  You can print the form and complete it by hand, and then have the information all ready to enter once the application is available online in August.

According to a recent webinar with Scott Anderson, the Common Application essay questions are the same next year as they were for the 2011-2012 form.  They are the following:

A. Short Answer: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below or on an attached sheet. (1000 characters with spaces)

B. Personal Essay. Please write an essay of 250 – 500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.

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.

C. Additional Information: Please upload a document here if you wish to provide details of circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application. (No word count) This is a great place for a personal statement or resume!

So, make sure come August 1st, you go into and set up your account with a username and password and put it somewhere safe.  Then you can begin your Common Application and save what you have done, and go in and out of the site, adding and saving.  And when the rest of your classmates are filling theirs out in November and December, you will be done and can spend time doing other interesting and important things.  Very smart of you……