college applications

In its debut year, the Common App’s rollover feature seems to be a great success. Students who created their Common Applications as high school juniors can now log into their same Common App accounts as seniors after answering just a few basic questions.

Not sure how to proceed with rolling over your account? Read on to ensure you’re completing the rollover process correctly.

1. Welcome

Navigate your way to www.commonapp.org and click on the white “Log In” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You’ll be asked to indicate whether you are a student, teacher/counselor recommender, or a Common App member institution. After clicking on “Student,” you can enter the email address and password associated with your Common App account. (Can’t remember your password? Here’s a hint—it contains at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and one special character. Sorry if that doesn’t quite narrow it down for you!)

If you’ve entered your credentials correctly, you’ll receive your virtual welcome from the Common Application.

Common App Account

Go ahead and click the bubble for “First-Year Student” (for those applying as freshmen) and indicate you plan to begin college in “2016 or 2017.” Finally, select “yes” if your high school information has not changed.

2. Affirmations

When the Affirmations page pops up, two of the four boxes are pre-checked. Read over these first two statements carefully, as they relate your preferred communication preferences regarding colleges and the Common Application contacting you throughout the application process. (I advise students to leave the first question unchecked and the second question checked. For privacy reasons, I’m not a fan of allowing colleges to access students’ applications before they’ve been submitted. But it seems 100 percent legitimate to allow the Common Application to reach out via email, phone, or text should the need arise.)

Common Application Help

After you check the final two boxes on the page (one acknowledges that you and your parents have read the Common App’s privacy policy; the other grants your permission to allow the Common App to use “cookies” as you use the site), mosey on over to section three.

3. College List

If you had previously entered colleges onto your “My Colleges” tab of the old 2015-16 application, you’ll see a list of those schools now. Simply check the appropriate boxes for the colleges you wish to keep on your list moving forward. If you don’t check any of the schools below, your new “My Colleges” tab will be blank. No need to agonize over this step; you can always change your school list later. Entering new schools (or deleting old ones) is quick and easy once your account rollover is complete.

Help with the Common App

4. Registration Type

You’re almost there! Just one more page to go. To more accurately gather statistics about the number of students who use the Common Application, the Common App requests that students select the “Student” option on the page below. (School counselors, teachers, and independent advisors can fill in the “Education Professional” bubble, while parents and guardians can choose the “Parent or Other Adult” option.) Students should note that they must select the “Student” bubble if they actually want to colleges to receive and evaluate their applications. Any application submitted via the “Education Professional” or “Parent or Other Adult” route will not be considered by colleges.

Common App Help

And there you have it! Your Common Application has been officially rolled over and you can begin to complete your college applications in earnest. Students who have already completed a portion of the 2015-16 Common App will see that most of their answers have been carried over on the “Common App” tab. Just be sure to review all questions carefully as some prompts may have changed.

The Common Application

Looking for more tips on applying to college using the Common Application? Stay tuned for our entire 2016-17 Common Application blog series. Next week we’ll be introducing the Common App’s “app” to help you manage the college application process from your cell phone or tablet. And later this month we’ll be unveiling our three-part series on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Common App. Until then, stay calm and Common App on!

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Written by Elyse Krantz
Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.