Many of our students ask us how early they should submit their college applications. We always recommend the earlier you submit your college application the better. But how early you can submit hinges on the type of application you use. There are three types of college applications: the Common App, the Coalition Application, and a school’s proprietary application. Let’s dive into each to answer the question.
The Common App
The Common App is as its name implies: the most common application that students use. This application is used by over 900 colleges and counting. We find it to be the easiest application to use. If a college uses several different application formats, including the Common App, we recommend using the Common App. A new Common App is released every year on August 1st. So, for students entering college in the Fall of 2023, the Common App opens on August 1, 2022.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t work on the Common App prior to this day. Click here to read our blog on this. Rather, it means the earliest you can submit the Common App for the following fall is that date. However, some schools may not have released their school specific questions and supplemental essay topics by August 1st. Some don’t do so until the middle of August or later. So, you may have to wait a little longer before you can submit your completed Common App. This submission does not include SAT/ACT test scores, official transcript or letters of recommendation, as those are sent separately. Once you have completed the application, including the school specific questions, supplemental essays and primary essay, and you have reviewed it, had someone else review it as well, and you feel good about it, then go ahead and submit it.