The Common Application is an application for undergraduate admissions that is accepted by almost 500 colleges. Member institutions are required to evaluation students using a holistic selection process.
Colleges may use the Common Application exclusively or accept both the Common Application and its own institutional application. Members that accept both applications do not treat applicants differently based on the which application form they use. Each college may have supplemental forms but they cannot duplicate questions already asked as part of the Common Application.
The application can be completed online or students can print out the forms and mail them. The online system allows students to track applications and submission of forms by teachers and counselors.
The only fee to use the Common Application is the application fee, if any, charged by the school the student is applying to. The maximum number of institutions that a student can apply to using the Common Application online is 20.
The Universal College Application is another undergraduate application but is accepted by fewer schools.