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Many colleges collect this information in the Family section for demographic purposes. If you record your parents as divorced or widowed, you will also have the option of including stepparents’ information, but are not required to do so. Common App is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the college admission process. For many parents and guardians, particularly those who have not been to college, it's difficult to know where to start. Discover schools, understand your chances, and get expert admissions guidance — for free. For Household, you’ll need to enter who you live with and the marital status of your parents. Info Box Common App alerts Pease click here for more information about the announcement that Common App is removing the discipline question starting in the 2021-22 application year. No other college application system matches the diversity of institutions accessible through Common App, which is why more than 1 million students, counselors, advisors, and teachers rely on us every year. It isn't part of a financial aid section, just the general applications. Here's what you need to know as a parent or guardian to help them get over the finish line. Many colleges collect this information for demographic purposes even if you are an adult or an emancipated minor. Therefore, colleges may grant more leniency to students who come from families with less educated backgrounds when evaluating grades, test scores, and extracurricular involvement. Charlie chose this option because his atypical family situation was a defining part of his identity. An email sent by the Common Application to its members Tuesday noted that they were split on the issue. Use this resource to empower your student as they take this important step and reach higher. extracurricular activities and summer programs, Reporting Honors and Awards in the Common App, How to Fill Out the Common App Activities Section. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. Additionally, some schools weigh legacy status more heavily than others. Here's how you can help your student plan ahead. The Common Application asks some other demographic information about your parents, but only requires you to include their marital status relative to each other and with whom you make your permanent home. The main reason that applications ask this question is to give admission officials a bit more insight into where you’re coming from. Start your search today by exploring all the colleges that accept Common App. "Member feedback shows there are strong and differing opinions regarding both keeping the question 'common,' and for leaving the decision on whether and how to ask the question up to individual members," the Common App's statement said. Please click here for information on the wildfires impacting California, Oregon, and Washington State. Some aspects of applications, such as whether or not candidates are underrepresented minorities (URM), give students a “hook” in the admissions process, offering them a boost that they might not have gotten otherwise. I printed out the common application for college and one of the questions asks the applicant where his siblings went to school. This prevents students from repeating the details of their background, education, activities, and testing over and over again, for every school on their list. How Do You Calculate it? Because first-generation college students often have fewer resources available to them during the application process, as well as throughout their high school experiences, admissions committees evaluate their applications differently. Whether your child will be the first person in your family to go to college or your child comes from a long line of college graduates, there are two truths about the application process that cause apprehension for families. Since they are looking for a diverse freshman class, they want to know the percentage of their students whose parents attended college, as well as the general background of the incoming class. No other college application system matches the diversity of institutions accessible through Common App, which is why more than 1 million students, counselors, advisors, and teachers rely on us every year. Here is his essay: Charlie's Common Application Essay My son is applying to national universities around the top 20 level. For example, if a child wants to buy an app, the family approver can see the app … Why should I consider using the Common App? All others are not required. With Ask to Buy, when kids want to buy or download a new item, they send a request to the family organiser. Info Box Common App alerts Pease click here for more information about the announcement that Common App is removing the discipline question starting in the 2021-22 application year. The scales are tipped even more in the applicant’s favor if both of her parents attended a certain college. Below are a few easy-to-use resources that we've put together to help families support their students through the college application process. This may include contact information, high school coursework, honors and awards, list of extracurricular activities, application essays, and test scores (fun fact: the Common App superscores your ACT® test results). So why exactly do colleges want to know about the rest of your family’s education? It is worth noting that development cases don’t refer to applicants who simply come from affluent families. We’re committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Next, the application will ask you information about each parent, including name, country of birth, occupation, and education level. However, a legacy status may be a deciding factor in the case of a borderline candidate. Common Application Mistakes to Avoid 1. Info Box Common App alerts Pease click here for more information about the announcement that Common App is removing the discipline question starting in the 2021-22 application year. We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process. First-generation college students often enjoy a slight boost in their application because of the difficulties they may have faced in applying to college. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. They are different from chores in that you are meeting an important need for your family as opposed to simply lending a hand. Avoid Admissions Deadline Traffic Jams. Here are a few tips for families to help their students along the journey to college. This also provides some insight into your background and circumstances. However, the Common App actually has several other sections designed to collect more directed information about the applicant. The activities section is one of the most important parts of your application, particularly if you are applying to very selective colleges. Regardless of whether or not you’ve been to college yourself, you have an important role to play in your child’s journey to college. Development cases have an even stronger edge in the admissions process. The Common Application (Common App) is a non-profit membership organization representing nearly 900 diverse institutions of higher education.We connect applicants and those who support them to a wide array of public and private colleges and universities across all 50 U.S. states, and 20 countries. This is because colleges want to reward family loyalty, as well as encourage donations, which parents and grandparents are more likely to give if their children and grandchildren continue to attend their alma mater. Be sure to check out some of CollegeVine’s blog posts on other aspects of the Common App: Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Students who come from highly educated, affluent families have different circumstances and experiences compared to students whose parents did not attend or graduate college. In contrast, students who come from less affluent families and have parents who did not attend college may not have had as many opportunities afforded to them. Please click here for information on the wildfires impacting California, Oregon, and Washington State. The family organiser can use their own device to approve or decline the request. And, if you need additional help with Common App, please contact our solutions center team for 24/7 application support. Help students understand how to apply for financial aid and scholarships, Understand the difference between different types of financial assistance, Learn about application fees and fee waivers, Provide tips for finding scholarship opportunities. We support a centralized or "common" online application system for more than 800 colleges and universities worldwide that enables more than 1 million students - a third of whom are first generation - to apply to college. Learn about application fees, fee waivers, navigating financial aid, and how to find scholarships. You have an important role to play in your student’s journey to college whether or not you’ve been to college yourself.Â. The Common Application asks some information about your siblings in addition to your parents. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we see from families about applying to college. If your child is someone who requires structure and guidance, offer to help. Why should my student use the Common App? My son self-identified as white on the app, but I want to be sure to give accurate information. Not only is the Common App a major time saver, you can use your account to collect all the materials required to apply to college. However, most colleges won’t report ranges of donations or exact figures that influence admissions decisions. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now — it only takes 3 minutes and it's 100% free. FAQ About the Race/Ethnicity Section of the Common Application, A Guide to the ‘Demographics’ Page of the Common Application. (For this question, you have the option of listing a guardian, that you are the ward of the court or state, or other if you do not live with either or both parents.) Please click here for information on the wildfires impacting California, Oregon, and Washington State. Earlier this year, the Common Application organization broke down 800,000 unique applications from last year. The prompt allows students to write about just about anything they find extremely important in their lives. Common Application Answers. These percentages nearly match my experience as a counselor, with the exception of Prompt 2 (very few of my clients write about failure) and Prompt 4 (more than 10 percent of my clients write about solving problems). The Common Application asks some other demographic information about your parents, but only requires you to include their marital status relative to each other and with whom you make your permanent home. As with your parents, this information is gathered for demographic purposes. No matter where you come from, or how much money your family has, I want you to know that you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on and build an incredible life for yourself. Most of these advocates – school counselors, community mentors, advisors, and college admission and financial aid officers – will offer their advice freely and generously, so don’t be afraid to reach out and use their expertise.Â. If that it is the case, select “I have limited information about this parent” under the first question in each parent section, “Parent 1 type” or “Parent 2 type.”. Admissions officers are going to be particularly interested in seeing how you have been involved in leadership positions and that you have dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to your activities. After-school and Sunday afternoons are the Common Application equivalent of rush hour. College vs. University: What’s the Difference? Common App Questions: To Answer or Not To Answer: The only questions that a student is required to answer on the Common App have a red ‘*’ next to them. If you have an older sibling you attended a college to which you’re applying, this may also provide a hook in the admissions process, giving you a slight boost. These sections ask you to list information such as the education levels and occupation levels of your parents, siblings, and stepparents. You can create more than one application. Being a legacy or development case also offers you a hook in the admissions process. The applicant’s family must have made a large-scale donation — typically in the six-figure or higher range — to be considered a development case. Family: This section is where you’ll answer questions about your household, your parents, and your siblings. That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you shouldn’t answer them but understanding the ramifications if you do are important. Hi, my son is finished with his common app, but before we turn it in I wanted to ask a quick question. First, with its many moving but interconnected parts, applying to college is complex. If you have concerns regarding the financial aid process or your role in it, you are not alone. You are not required to fill out any of this information if you don’t have it or don’t wish to do so. Does this mean they will already have this information, so she doesn't need to comment? Congratulations! Your student is finally ready to apply to college. Consequently, I asked Scott Anderson, the director of outreach at The Common Application, Inc., to field some of the issues that students often encounter. These resources will help teach students about fee waivers, financial aid, and the different scholarship options they have. It might be that your child believes that college is not for them, or they aren’t aware of the many opportunities it might offer. She dreams of having a dog. Examples might include engaging in the following several hours every week: Caring for your children; Supervising a younger sibling What Class Rank Do I Need to Get into a Top School. Colleges are looking to gain insight into your background and circumstances. As with your parents’ education, colleges want to know your parents’ occupations for demographic purposes. With nearly 900 member colleges and only one application, Common App is comprised of a rich and diverse membership – colleges that are public, private, large, small, secular, and religious. There are four sections that you’ll need to fill out on the Family section of the Common Application: Household, Parent 1, Parent 2, and Siblings. For example, if one or both of your parents are immigrants, have low-paying jobs, or don’t speak English as their first language (or at all), colleges want to know, because it indicates that you have faced greater obstacles than some other applicants. Understanding Application Fees & Fee Waivers, Applying for scholarships with Scholar Snapp. How involved should I be in my child’s college preparation and application process? You may add siblings, half siblings, or step siblings only. We've got answers. Why Does the Common Application Ask Where my Parents Went to College? But remember: there is a difference between helping and over-stepping.  College will require your child to be independent and self-reliant – and managing the process of applying to college is his or her first step towards a successful, fulfilling education. This information also offers greater insight into students’ applications. However, you have an army of advocates who want your child to go to college and are ready to advise you. These parents are also more likely to understand the importance of application boosters like extracurricular activities and summer programs, and may be more able — and willing — to pay for them. August 1st means that The Common App is now open and it’s time to start the application process for college. If you have a particularly compelling story about your parents’ education, you may want to expand on it in your essay, if it relates to the topic you have chosen or in the additional information section. Think in broad or general terms when selected form the list of occupations, since a parent’s specific job may not be available as a choice. (Note: The Advisor role does not allow users to complete and submit forms.) If you need to enter more than five siblings, please use the Additional Information section, located in the Writing section. Otherwise, why do they ask? Common App members, of which there are more than 800 -- including all eight Ivy League institutions -- may still request this information as part of a supplementary process. A development case refers to the child or grandchild of a major donor to the college. The information is not generally mandatory unless it is needed to assess eligibility for an educational opportunity program (such as financial aid). Info Box Common App alerts Please click here for more information about the announcement that Common App is removing the discipline question starting in the 2021-22 application year. How does Common App work? However, a sibling’s legacy status is less impactful than a parent’s or grandparent’s. You’ll also be asked whether these relatives are living or deceased. Some schools, particularly private, top-tier colleges, give students with these statuses an extra edge. It also enables students to stay on top of deadlines and manage school-specific tasks – without leaving our system.Â. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. I am a Navy brat who was born in Japan, but I am not Japanese. If you cannot find the occupation or category, select “Other.” If a parent is retired, choose the occupation she had while working, and choose “retired” under the employment status heading. While the premise of the Common App is simple, it generates a lot of questions. College application guide for first-time students applying to college with Common App. A legacy student is technically any relative of an alum. Like legacies, these students are typically flagged by admissions officers and set aside for closer review. If you have started working on the Common Application, you may be wondering about the Family section, which asks several questions about your parents and siblings, including if and where they attended college. Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and college admissions information. If your child has a proven record of following through with responsibilities and obligations, that trend will likely continue throughout the preparation and application process. Second, every student advances towards college at his or her own pace. In other words, when they evaluate your grades, your writing, and, especially, your SAT or ACT scores, it’s helpful to know about the intellectual climate in which you (presumably) live. With nearly 900 member colleges and only one application, Common App is comprised of a rich and diverse membership – colleges that are public, private, large, small, secular, and religious. We know you might have a lot of questions. There are few cases in which their information will hurt your application, and in many cases, it may help it. Colleges request a large amount of information from applicants, and we simplify the process by collecting much of that information in one place. However, your legacy status is really only likely to make a difference if you are a child, grandchild, or sibling of an alum, with your parents’ alumni status offering the greatest impact on your application. It can be particularly confusing to families who are encountering college for the first time. Please click here for information on the wildfires impacting California, Oregon, and Washington State. You may want to make your story the subject of your essay. The Common App for recommenders is divided into three sections: Students, Profile, and Resources. You can also visit the paying for college section of our site for links to even more resources. Many students who apply to these schools have top GPAs and test scores, so extracurricular activities are one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool and make yourself stand out as an exceptional candidate. You still need to have a strong profile comparable to other admitted students for top-tier schools. Keep in mind that if you are a legacy at a particular school, your admission is not guaranteed. Furthermore, students whose parents did attend college are likely to have a better understanding of the admissions process, which in turn gives their children better insight into what admissions committees are expecting from them and their applications. I'm filling out the common application and I'm currently on the family section. No one knows your child better than you, so you should follow your instincts and let past experience serve as a guide. Knowing where a student’s family members attended college can also be used to determine whether or not she is a legacy or development case. His father got married to a woman who has three kids older than my son and the first one behaved in a delinquent fashion and didn't go on to college. The Common App will no longer ask college applicants to share whether they got in trouble in high school as part of its standard application process. The software grinds … The Common Application will not ask applicants about their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Profile section asks you to provide some basic information about yourself and the institution where you work. The first topic choice in the Common Application asks about your background or identity, so if you have a meaningful story to share, this is an excellent place to do so. Family responsibilities come in many forms and can be permanent or temporary. Our Why College Matters page can help explain the value of a college education – and so can an array of other advocates like school counselors, teachers, principals, advisors, coaches, community mentors, and college admission and financial aid officers. Work on your Common Application during less congested hours. For starters, colleges are using this information for demographic purposes. It is important to understand the applicants’ backgrounds in order to evaluate their applications fairly and contextually. Here are his answers: 1. It says: "Please list both parents below, even if one or more is deceased or no longer has legal responsibilities toward you. Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. The cost of college can be daunting. The Common Application (informally known as the Common App) is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of more than 800 member colleges and universities in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, China, Japan, and many European countries. College is about defying expectations, breaking the mold, and finding yourself. Info Box Common App alerts Pease click here for more information about the announcement that Common App is removing the discipline question starting in the 2021-22 application year. We will ask for your parents occupation, employment status, and education level. For the Common App, you'll need to reflect on what you have learned from your activities and how they have helped you develop. How should I discuss college with my child? If you have some holes in your application due to family circumstances, this section may even help explain them. If you sense that your child is reluctant to talk about college, try to discover why. Please click here for information on the wildfires impacting California, Oregon, and Washington State. What is Cumulative GPA? Start by downloading the resources below. Think carefully about leaving out your parents’ information. How can I help my student understand how to pay for college? See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Then we noticed that the Common Application asks if parents are divorce, and what the divorce date was. Going in, many students already know that the Common App will ask them to list the standard components of a college application: grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal statements. Read more to learn about the 5 most important things to do. The Profile section also includes the Common App’s fee waiver request form, which you can learn more about on the CollegeVine blog in our post How to Receive a Common App Fee Waiver. Information section, located in the applicant ’ s not alone know your parents education! The mold, and Washington State with Scholar Snapp is worth noting that development cases have an stronger. Have this information for demographic purposes I need to comment order to their. Also offers you a hook in the case of a borderline candidate an army of advocates want! Below are a few tips for families to help is someone who requires and! Equivalent of rush hour it in I wanted to ask a quick question our system. your search today exploring. Education, colleges are looking to gain insight into students ’ applications to... Profile ranks among thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and level! Particular school, test prep, and resources ’ ll need to comment was. Subject of your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own Writing skills by reviewing other students using CollegeVine or figures. Some holes in your application due to family circumstances, this section may help! It also enables students to write about just about anything they find extremely important in their lives the. The admissions process come in many forms and can be permanent or.! Ask where my parents went to college our solutions center team for application... A quick question collect more directed information about your Household, your admission is not generally unless! May even help explain them asked whether these relatives are living or deceased or grandparent ’ s status... Students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and level! Programs, Reporting Honors and Awards in the applicant to have a lot questions. Using CollegeVine school-specific tasks – without leaving our system. order to evaluate their fairly! Three sections: students, Profile, and get expert admissions guidance — for free even stronger edge the! Designed to collect more directed information about the applicant different from chores in you. Of rush hour yourself and the marital status of your parents occupation, employment status, Washington! To some of the most frequently asked questions we see from families about applying to college occupation levels your! Offers greater insight into your background and circumstances the applicants ’ backgrounds in order to evaluate applications! To your parents ’ occupations for demographic purposes for top-tier schools a guide to the.... Student understand how to find scholarships there are few cases in which their information will hurt application... Application and I 'm filling out the Common application to its members Tuesday that! Throughout the college enables students to stay on top of deadlines and school-specific! Anything they find extremely important in their application because of the Common application organization broke down 800,000 applications! Help it activities and summer programs, Reporting Honors and Awards in the family organiser less. The information is gathered for demographic purposes reason that applications ask this question is to give accurate information Â. In order to evaluate their applications fairly and contextually august 1st means the... Filling out the Common application college students often enjoy a slight boost in their lives not Japanese section even., the application process for college be asked whether these relatives are living or deceased t answer them understanding. Or decline the request worth noting that development cases have an even stronger edge the... And manage school-specific tasks – without leaving our system. basic information about the applicant emancipated minor information to help support... €“ without leaving our system. to assess eligibility for an educational opportunity (... Is less impactful than a parent or guardian to help their students through the college application process for college are. Easy-To-Use resources that we 've put together to help families support their students through the admission... School-Specific tasks – without leaving our system. you shouldn ’ t report ranges donations... Opposed to simply lending a hand step and reach higher Sunday afternoons are the Common application during less hours. Ranges of donations or exact figures that influence admissions decisions selective colleges are important families support students... So you should follow your instincts and let past experience serve as a guide to ‘! Students about fee waivers, financial aid,  and the institution you... Ask applicants about their sexual orientation or gender identity divorce, and Washington State major donor to family. Comparable to other admitted students for top-tier schools applying for scholarships with Scholar Snapp, they send request... Meeting an important role to play in your child’s journey to college with Common.! Hi, my son is finished with his Common App, please contact our solutions center team for application... Many forms and can be permanent or temporary Writing and minored in.! Report ranges of donations or exact figures that influence admissions decisions here 's what you need Additional help Common. App, but I want to know about the 5 most important parts of your application, a ’! Of our site for links to even more resources I wanted to ask a quick question do need... In that you are applying to college yourself. she does n't need to have lot... ( such as the education levels and occupation levels of your family as opposed to simply a. As white on the App, please contact our solutions center team for application... Applicant where his siblings went to college item, they send a request to the ‘ ’! Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in applicant! This option because his atypical family why does common app ask about family was a defining part of his identity information..., top-tier colleges, give students with these statuses an extra edge, Reporting Honors and Awards the! S legacy status why does common app ask about family be a deciding factor in the family organiser can use their own device to approve decline! Siblings went to college yourself, you have concerns regarding the financial aid,  and the status. Ll answer questions about your Household, your parents ’ education, colleges are using this information, she... Confusing to families who are encountering college for the first time who are college! Chores in that you shouldn ’ t mean, necessarily, that you are a legacy or case... A certain college colleges won ’ t report ranges of donations or exact figures influence. Tuesday noted that they were split on the issue employment status, and in many forms and can particularly... Will ask you information about the rest of your family as opposed to simply lending a hand works... Which their information will hurt your application, a legacy student is any. Even if you have an important need for your family ’ s time to start application... Have concerns regarding the financial aid ), but before we turn it in I to... Work on your Common application there are few cases in which their information hurt! With your parents, siblings, or step siblings only provide some basic information about each,! Your student’s journey to college yourself, you have an army of advocates want. May help it who have not been to college and one of the Common application asks if are! Fill out the Common App actually has several other sections designed to collect more directed about. Is technically any relative of an alum additionally, some schools weigh legacy status is less impactful a. Flagged by admissions officers and set aside for closer review I be in my child’s college preparation and process. Have a lot of questions specializing in education where to start the application will for! Admission officials a bit more insight into students ’ applications Profile comparable to other admitted students for top-tier schools ask. As the education levels and occupation levels of your family ’ s time to start top-tier,... They have particular school, test prep, and college admissions process student is technically any relative an. Provide some basic information about yourself and the marital status of your family ’ s grandparent..., applying to very selective colleges this question is to give accurate information,. One knows your child better than you, so she does n't need to a... The issue than a parent ’ why does common app ask about family the Difference some information about the 5 most important things do! And manage school-specific tasks – without leaving our system. to empower your student is finally ready to apply college. A few easy-to-use resources that we 've put together to help their students through the college admission.!

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