From July 28th – July 31st, the Common Application (Common App), one of the major college application platforms, will undergo its annual refresh cycle. During this time, students will be unable to access the system as the Common App prepares to officially launch the new 2021-2022 application on August 1st.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not an excuse to quit working on your applications. It is best that students maximize all the time available this summer to get a head start on their application.

Here are three things we recommend that rising seniors/12th grade students do during the annual refresh period.

1. Work On Your Personal Statement

The 2021-2022 Common App Essay Prompts were released earlier this year. Students should take the down period to familiarize themselves with the prompts, brainstorm, outline, and begin drafting their personal statement essay. Remember your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. 

Having a hard time getting started on your essay or want feedback on what you have written? Check out Essay Support Services.

2. Take A Look At The Paper Version Of The Common App

Now is the time to gather all the information that will be placed in the general section AKA the Common App tab. This section is where students will list their personal information, educational background, family information, activities, and standardized test scores.

To get this information ready during the down period, use the paper version of the Common App. Students can then transfer the information into the system when the application goes live on August 1st.

3. Understand the FERPA Waiver

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a fairly complex law that protects a student’s educational records.

Before you can begin to request recommendation letters, students  will have to decide whether to waive or not waive their right to review their recommendation letters.  We suggest that students discuss the options with their parents, legal guardians, or school counselors before checking any boxes. 

For more info on the FERPA and its impact on your college application, check our blog where we dig into the topic.

The next several months, seniors will be spending hours preparing their college applications. Don’t go on this important journey alone! Book your FREE 20-Minute Strategy Session to get targeted advice about the process.

US College Experts is an educational consulting company entirely dedicated to preparing, inspiring, and connecting students to the best college opportunities. | | +1-301-744-0456

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