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The 2021 Common App Guide is Here!

Picture of Meredith Graham
By Meredith Graham on September, 9 2021 | 3 minute read

Oh hey! It’s that time of year again—it’s time for this year’s update of our Common App guide! Creating this free guide has become an annual tradition for us at Collegewise, and sending it out into the world each year brings us a lot of joy, not to mention a bit more sleep—it’s a lot of work to update it each year, but it’s work we take great pride in. We are always proud of the advice and tips we’re able to offer in the finished guide, and this year is no exception.

I wrote a slightly longer blog post about the Common App and how it works when we released last year’s guide, so I’ll keep this post brief rather than repeat myself here.

Last year, the Common App itself wasn’t markedly different from the pre-COVID times, which was a bit of good news in the midst of so much bad and complicated news. So in last year’s guide, we added a lot of little details about how to tackle some of the application pieces that were impacted by the pandemic, like how to handle the situation if your school switched to Credit/No Credit midyear last year, or what to do about most “typical” student activities being cancelled or totally disrupted.

Thankfully, there aren’t huge changes this year either, although there are a few noteworthy ones. This year’s app includes a new essay prompt and updated questions on a student’s sex and gender, as well as a change on how disciplinary history questions are handled—it’s now up to each college to decide whether to ask about disciplinary history on their own Member Questions section. You can check the Common App blog for their announcements and discussion on these topics. And of course, we tackled these changes in this year’s guide.

Other than that, the main difference students might see is the updated list of member colleges—you now have more than 950 colleges to choose from on the Common App.

That’s it! Get your Common App guide here, then go forth and submit amazing applications!

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About Us: With more than twenty years of experience, Collegewise counselors and tutors are at the forefront of the ever-evolving admissions landscape. Our work has always centered on you: the student. And just like we’ve always done, we look for ways for you to be your best self - whether it’s in the classroom, in your applications or in the right-fit college environment. Our range of tools include counselingtest prepacademic tutoring, and essay management, all with the support of our proprietary platform, leading to a 4x higher than average admissions rates. 


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