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How to Create or Rollover your Common App Account

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Elyse Krantz

Written by Elyse Krantzon August 4th, 2021

I became interested in the college admissions process after serving as a student tour guide in the admissions office of my alma mater. After graduating, I accepted an admissions counseling position at Bennington College in Vermont where I evaluated applications and reviewed art portfolios from students across the country. Three years later, after pursuing my master's degree in New York City, I joined the admissions staff at Barnard College where I served as a senior admissions officer. At Barnard, I directed Long Island and Boston recruitment in addition to managing the College's alumnae interview program, coordinating admissions statistics, and editing various college publications. Having also served as an alumni interviewer for Dartmouth College and visited over 75 colleges, I feel especially well-equipped to help students prepare for admission interviews and campus tours.
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by Elyse Krantz, former admissions officer at Barnard College The Common App is here! As of August 1, this year’s Common Application is available to all applicants. High school seniors, these instructions are for you. If you have not yet created your Common App account, follow steps 1-7 below. If you created a Common App account prior to August 1, steps 8-10 are for you! Either way, take a few moments to bookmark this site. You’re going to be using it a lot over the next few months. FOR NEW COMMON APP REGISTRANTS
  1. Visit
  1. On the “let’s get started!” page, indicate you are a “first year student.” (Note that parents can create their own Common App accounts, which is a worry-free way to explore the application platform without the fear of accidentally submitting an application. Just select the “parent or other adult” option on the landing page.
  1. On the “create your account” page, enter an email address you check regularly, as this is the account colleges will use to contact you about the status of your application.
  1. Remember to use proper capitalization and spelling when entering your first and last name. Additionally, you can list your cell phone or your home phone number here; just be sure the voicemail greeting is appropriate for a college admissions official.
  1. If your home address doesn’t appear when attempting to use the lookup feature, double-check your spelling and remember that some street names might be spelled as one or two words (Bridlepath vs. Bridle Path). If you select the “I don’t see my address in this list” option, be sure to use proper spelling and punctuation when entering your address.
  1. Check “yes” or “no” if you do (or do not) live in a European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, or the UK. Additionally, fill in the bubble to indicate the year you anticipate enrolling in college (2022 for current or rising high school seniors).
  1. Finally, when it asks if you want to share your information with colleges before you apply, we recommend you uncheck the first box. You can check the boxes for the second and third question. Click the “create account” button and you’re done!
  1. Sign in at On the “welcome back!” page, check the boxes to indicate:
  • The year you anticipate enrolling in college (2022 for current or rising high school seniors),
  • The colleges you are still currently interested in applying to (colleges will only appear here if you had already added some to your Common App list; don’t worry – you can easily edit this list later),
  • “Yes” if your high school name is correct, and
  • Whether or not you live in a European Union country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, or the UK.
  1. We recommend you leave the first box blank (colleges may NOT contact you before you submit your application), but check the remaining two boxes.
  1. After you click the blue “done” button, you’ll immediately receive an email confirmation from the Common App affirming your account has been successfully rolled over.
What happens next? Within the Common App, head on over to the College Search tab to look up colleges of interest and add them to your My Colleges list. You can also start to fill out the main part of your application, located on the Common App tab. This takes about an hour to complete. And, if you haven’t yet begun working on your Common App personal statement, be sure to check out our video series with insider tips for crafting your best application essay. Congratulations! The fun of applying to college has officially begun.

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