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What you need to know about the Common App refresh


Mark your calendars!!! Starting today July 28th, 2020 the Common App website will shut down from July 28th - July 31st for it's annual "refresh".


What does this mean? It means that students will not be able to access their Common Application account from July 28th - July 31st.


Why does this happen? This allows Common App to update all of the supplemental requirements from individual colleges and universities. On August 1st the 2020-2021 Common Application will go live with all of the changes in place.


For those of you who have already been working on your Common Application, your demographic information is supposed to roll over. This year the Activities section will have some changes. Students will have more characters to describe the role and organization's name of each activity listed.


In the meantime, there is plenty to do if you are looking for something to keep you busy:


  • Students can put the finishing touches on their main college essay. The Common App essay prompts did not change this year and were announced at the beginning of 2020.

  • Create a Google document for your activities. This can help in ordering activities properly and describing them in the most powerful way before inputting this information into Common App.

  • Make sure to do virtual tours and virtual information sessions for all the colleges on your list to ensure that you have an initial sense of whether to keep the school on your college list. Most colleges do not have campus tours and information sessions available just yet.

  • If you have been impacted by COVID-19, Common App will be offering a new space for a student to comment on or explain these last several months. Draft a response of 250 words or less on a Google document. You can copy and paste your response on August 1st or later.

  • Go to the colleges' admissions websites to find out if they have announced their supplemental essay prompts for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. If they haven't, you will have to wait until August 1st when Common App launches.

  • If you know a college's supplemental essay prompts, get started writing those essays first!


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