Why You Should Start Your Common Application Early

Get a jump start on the college application process!

Are you thinking about using the summer to get a jump start on your upcoming college application process? If the answer is yes, get ahead of the curve and start your Common Application early. The Common Application officially opens for the 2021-2022 application cycle on August 1. But you can actually start your application before this date. Here are three reasons why you should consider starting your Common Application early.

Start the "Common" Parts

One of the biggest advantages to starting the Common Application early is to finalize your main application. You will be able to fill in information that likely won’t change entering your senior year, such as your school, course information, and any activities. Once you have the main part of the Common Application done, you can focus on any school specific requirements. One thing to keep in mind is that you should only start the main Common Application before August 1. This data will roll over into the new cycle, but any questions you answer for your schools will disappear after August 1.

Understand Each School's Requirements

While you shouldn’t fill out any school specific questions early, you can still  understand what your schools are looking for. For example, when you apply to NYU, our main essay question (Why NYU?) won’t change. You can start to brainstorm ideas for any additional essays required by your universities. You can also think about which major you might apply to, if you want to spend your first year away or if you want to rank another campus in your application.

A Head Start For Artistic Programs

If you are planning to apply to an artistic program at NYU, starting early will be beneficial to you. Artistic programs through Tisch and Steinhardt require a separate portfolio and maybe even an audition. Typically, we recommend that applicants to these programs apply a month before the actual deadline to allow time to complete additional requirements. Starting early will give you a head start in the process. You can read more about the artistic process here.

While summer is a time for you to relax and prepare for the next year, it’s definitely beneficial for you to start your common application early. Give yourself a head start before the new school year and the application process ramp up!