THE BLOG
09/08/2014 03:37 pm ET Updated Nov 08, 2014

Important Common App Details You May Not Know

Based on the difficulties of the Common Application last year, so far this year, it's been a pretty smooth ride. However, there are a few Common App details you may not know that could save you time and aggravation.

Common App Details:

• The Common Application does not restrict the number of changes that are made to any part of the application except the essays. Students generally must submit to one college first before they can make changes. They can then add or delete test scores and revise the activity page. However, there are restrictions on changes made to the essay.

• The essay can be revised twice for no more than three revisions. This is a crucial point and one that often gets missed by students. In order to make changes to an essay after you submit an application to a college, students will need to unlock their applications. Students cannot make any changes to an essay once it is submitted to a college. You can unlock again up to a maximum of three revisions. Any remaining colleges would receive your last essay version.

• Recommendations can be handled for the student in several ways. The high school may still submit using paper forms (yes, there are those) but for the most part this is being done online. Ask your high school counselor what the recommendation policy is at your high school. If your high school uses the popular Naviance program, the student should know how to use that website and invite recommenders where stated. The Common App allows students to invite recommenders to fill out their forms directly online. Get organized and ask for recommendations early!

• The most confusing change this year is that although many colleges look like they don't have a writing supplement on the College Tab, they do! That writing supplement can now be found under that college's drop down menu under the questions tab. It is essential to comb the application thoroughly and look at every drop down menu, as some essay prompts may be more difficult to find. This could be overlooked if students are not aware.

• The Common Application will allow applicants to submit up to 20 applications. This would be an extraordinarily long college list for any student. Perhaps, if a student is applying to specialized programs like art, performing arts or combined medical, they may need to apply to more schools.

• Make sure you print preview your entire application prior to submission. The application must be complete before you can print preview. Give your self enough time to check for any mistakes and be able to make corrections before you hit submit.

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