The Common Application

The Common Application (Common App) is used by almost 900 American universities. It is the closest equivalent to UCAS in the USA, and allows you to manage components of your applications to certain universities in one place.

Our Common App guides

We have produced comprehensive step-by-step guides for students and school staff to support you filling in the Common App. The most important thing to know is that the Common App requires sections to be completed in a certain order, and you won't be able to access parts of the application until other parts are complete.

While we strive for these guides to be as accurate as possible, the Common App sometimes changes its format. The best and most up to date information can be found on the Common Application website.


The Common Application has one required personal essay that you can choose from a list of seven prompts. This is sent to every university to which you apply. Universities can also set their own supplemental questions for you to answer.

School documents

Staff from your school can create their own accounts and attach reference letters, transcripts and school profiles to your application. Visit our School Documents page for further information.

Extracurricular activities and honours

The Common App gives you space to list up to 10 extracurricular activities, as well as any merit-based honours or awards you have won at school.