Tips For New College Counselors and Online Recommenders

Perhaps you are new to college counseling, new to the Common App or just new to being an online recommender for The Common Application. In any case, you probably have questions about how to get started and your next steps to help your students.  Here are a few tips that will help you in your work with the Common Application.

  • Look for your Recommender Invitation. To complete the online recommendation, you must first be invited by an applicant. When you receive the invitation email, click the link “Access the Common Application online systemto create your account.  You should create an account even if you had an account last year – the old accounts have been removed so you will not be able to log in with a username and password from last year.
  • You can be online this year even if you were offline last year. If you have decided to submit school records and recommendation letters via the online recommender system this year, you do not need to reset your account from last year. When the first invitation arrives, simply create your new account to begin completing your forms.
  • You can submit recommendation letters written by a previous counselor or another administrator. Counselors new to a school often do not feel comfortable writing recommendation letters for their students. The recommender system allows you to upload a letter written by another recommender in lieu of your counselor letter.
  • Get to know the Recommender Help Center. Bookmark, where you’ll find FAQs, training videos, and a PDF of the paper application. When logged in as a recommender, you also have access to Live Chat Monday through Friday 12 pm – 4 pm.
  • Add <> and <> 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.