Common App Questions, Answered

The Common App is a useful tool that students can access to streamline their college application. This tool simplifies the application process by allowing students to store information such as their name, address, transcripts and recommendations in one place which they can then send to multiple universities. Whether it's your first time using the Common App or you're looking for some additional information, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked Common App questions.

Don't forget, you can apply to JWU's Charlotte and Providence campuses using the Common App!

How Do You Use the Common App to Transfer Schools?

There are over 600 colleges that accept the Common App for transfer. All you need to do is create an account, upload your extracurriculars, test scores, transcripts and educational coursework. Next, add programs that you’d like to apply to and then upload any additional materials that your desired schools request.

For step-by-step instructions, head over to the Common App website.

>>See how to transfer to JWU

How Many Colleges Can You Apply to On the Common App?

20 colleges can be added to the Common App. A college cannot be removed once the application is submitted.

How Many Recommendations are Needed for the Common App?

Each college or university has their criteria for recommendations. Once you have recommendations uploaded such as a professional recommendation, they can be used for all applicable applications. The four types of recommendations found on the Common App are personal, professional, academic and high school official.

  • Personal: Friend, mentor or coach
  • Professional: Colleague, manager or professional mentor
  • Academic: Teacher or academic advisor
  • High School Official: High school guidance counselor

How Many Common App Essays are Required?

The Common App provides several essay prompts to choose from but you only need to write one essay which you can use for every school. Some colleges and universities may want additional writing supplements while others do not require an essay at all.

*JWU does not require an essay

>>Learn about JWU's Admission Requirements

How Long is the Common App Essay?

Essays should be between 250 to 650 words.

How Can You Connect Naviance to the Common App?

Naviance can be integrated with the Common App so colleges can receive submitted forms the same way they would through Common App. In order to connect Naviance and the Common App, follow the steps below:

  1. Log into Naviance.
  2. Click on “Colleges I’m Applying to”.
  3. Click on “Match Accounts”.
  4. Enter your Common App email and click “Match Accounts”.

When Does the Common App Open? Close?

  • The Common App opened on August 1st for the fall 2023 semester.
  • Early Action ends on November 1st.
  • Regular Decision usually ends between January and February; check with each college.

*JWU offers rolling admissions

Applying to JWU Using the Common App

Using the Common App to apply to JWU is a quick and simple process! All you need to do is fill out an application and answer general questions within the Common App. Once you add “JWU” to your “My Colleges” tab, you'll get the JWU-specific questions as well. 

Helpful Tip: Many applicants choose to upload the JWU optional essay with the Common App to supplement their applications and stand out from the crowd.

Quick Facts About Applying via the Common App

  1. It's easy to apply.
  2. Takes about an hour. 
  3. Free to use.
  4. Pick “Early Action” when you apply to JWU and if you submit by Nov 1st with your high school transcript, you will get a decision by Thanksgiving.
  5. Contact our Admissions department with any questions you may have during this process, we’re here to help!


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