The 2014-15 Common Application will launch at 8:00 a.m. ET on August 1. For those of you eager to get started, here are four key pieces of information to help you begin. And for those of you who aren’t quite ready to give up on summer, don’t worry. These tips will be just as useful in September.
1. You need to create a new account. To prepare for the new year, we have removed all accounts created before August 1, 2014. If you try to sign in with last year’s username and password, you’ll see an error message.
2. Talk to your counselor and parents (and maybe a college admission officer) before you sign the FERPA Release Authorization. You have the right to access your letters of recommendation after you enroll in college, assuming the college saves those forms. In the “Recommenders and FERPA” section of the application, you’ll be asked if you wish to waive that right. You’re free to respond as you choose, but you need to know that the choice you make could have significant implications for how colleges view your application. (We explain this in more detail in the application.) Once you complete the FERPA Release Authorization, you can’t change your answers, so make sure you talk to someone — a counselor or parent – who can help you understand your choice before you make it.
3. Check your application for accuracy before submitting. When it comes time to submit your applications–and for many of you that will be months away–make sure everything on it looks right. Yes, that means proofreading, but it also means checking that your responses appear exactly as they should. If something looks amiss, we want you to tell us so we can help you fix the problem before you send the application.
4. Add <firstname.lastname@example.org> to your address book or contact list. We know you’ll have questions, and we are here to answer them. Help us make sure our responses don’t end up in your SPAM or Junk folder by adding our support email address to your contact list.