Things No One Knows About College Apps

Sarah Frank
Published on
January 1, 2023

Overall Advice

·       Makea spreadsheet of each school’s characteristics, requirements, financial aid checklist contents, and deadlines

·       Some schools will give you the option to include a resume so have one ready

·       You will be able to re-use essays so save all of them on your laptop


The Common App

·       This is the name of the website/platform but it is also the name of part of the application. For every school, you have to submit the Common App (the basic information about you) ON the Common App (as in the website)

·       Teacher’s letters of recommendation are only submitted once and can be applied to any school. They cannot be re-done.

·       Some schools have a supplement section that has to be submitted separately after the Common App

·       The personal statement/essay can be changed but it will not affect what you’ve already submitted, only what you submit after changing it

·       There is a filter on the search to find schools with no essays or application fees

·       The common app does not save any tabs that you’ve put so use line spaces instead



·       Honors programs and school-specific scholarships sometimes have deadlines before the application deadlines (ex: Emory’s honor program)

·       Never wait until the night an application is due because websites frequently crash when there is a lot of traffic


Financial Aid

·       Some schools include a financial aid checklist in their portal, others just give instructions.

·       The FAFSA only lets you send it to 10 schools at a time but you can remove some and add new ones for free.

·       Merit-based scholarships/awards do not factor in need and focus only on accomplishments.



·       Before every interview, prepare a list of things you love about the school.

·       Practice with a friend or family member answering questions

·       Some schools don’t do interviews, some allow them for any/everyone, some only offer them to select applicants. Because of this, always check to see if alumni interviews are by request.

Good luck from Simple Studies!

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