The college application process can be stressful and overwhelming. As deadlines approach, you may find yourself wishing you could go back and edit your Common Application to add more schools. If you’ve already submitted your Common App and want to apply to additional colleges, you likely have questions about whether this is allowed and how to do it.

The short answer is yes, you can add schools to the Common App after submitting. However, there are important limitations and deadlines you need to be aware of. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about adding colleges to your submitted Common App.

How the Common App Works for Applying to Multiple Colleges

The Common App is a convenient online platform that allows students to streamline the college application process by enabling them to apply to multiple colleges with just one application. This not only saves time and effort but also simplifies the process of managing multiple college applications.

The Common App allows you to apply to multiple colleges with one application

One of the main advantages of using the Common App is that it eliminates the need to fill out separate applications for each college you are interested in. Instead, you can complete one application and submit it to multiple colleges simultaneously.

This is especially beneficial for students who are applying to several schools.

By using the Common App, you can easily keep track of all your application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays, in one place. This not only makes the application process more organized but also ensures that you don’t miss any important deadlines.

Additionally, the Common App provides a standardized format for colleges to review your application. This makes it easier for admissions officers to compare applicants from different schools, allowing for a more efficient and fair evaluation process.

You add colleges you’re interested in applying to when filling out the Common App

When filling out the Common App, you have the opportunity to add the colleges you are interested in applying to. This can be done by searching for the colleges within the Common App system and adding them to your list.

You can add as many colleges as you like, but keep in mind that each college may have its own specific requirements and deadlines.

It is important to carefully review the requirements for each college you add to ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria. This includes submitting any additional documents or completing supplemental essays that may be required by individual colleges.

The Common App must be submitted to each school separately

While the Common App allows you to apply to multiple colleges with one application, it is important to note that the application must still be submitted to each school separately. This means that you will need to pay the application fee for each college and follow any additional steps required by each individual institution.

Once you have submitted your application through the Common App, the colleges you applied to will receive your application materials and begin their review process. It is important to monitor the status of your application through the Common App portal and follow up with any additional requests from the colleges.

Deadlines for Adding Schools After Submitting

One of the most common questions students have when using the Common App is whether they can add schools to their application after they have already submitted it. The good news is that in most cases, you can add colleges to your application even after you have hit the submit button.

However, it’s important to be aware of the deadlines and processing times involved.

You can add colleges anytime before the school’s application deadline

Unlike some other application systems, the Common App allows you to add schools to your application even after you have submitted it. This flexibility is great news for students who may have initially overlooked a college or who have changed their mind about where they want to apply.

As long as the school’s application deadline has not passed, you can add it to your Common App.

However, schools may need 1-2 weeks to process newly added applications

While you can add schools to the Common App after submitting, it’s important to note that the process of adding a new school may take some time. Each college has its own admissions office, and they need time to review and process new applications.

In general, it’s a good idea to allow 1-2 weeks for the college to update your application and send you any additional materials or instructions.

Aim to add schools at least 2 weeks before the deadline to be safe

To ensure that you have enough time for the school to process your application, it’s recommended to add any additional colleges at least 2 weeks before their application deadline. This will give you a buffer in case there are any delays or issues with the processing.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to college applications, so don’t wait until the last minute to add schools to your Common App.

For more information on adding schools to the Common App after submitting, you can visit the Common App website for detailed instructions and guidelines.

How to Add a School After Submitting the Common App

Log back into your Common App account

If you’ve already submitted your Common App but now want to add additional schools, don’t worry! The process is simple. Start by logging back into your Common App account. Remember to use the same username and password you used to initially submit your application.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll be ready to add more schools to your list.

Go to the ‘My Colleges’ section

After logging into your Common App account, navigate to the ‘My Colleges’ section. This is where you can manage the list of schools you’re applying to. You’ll find a list of the colleges you’ve already added, as well as the option to add more.

Click ‘Add Colleges’

To add a new school to your Common App, simply click on the ‘Add Colleges’ button. This will prompt the application to guide you through the process of adding a new school to your list.

Search for and select the schools you want to add

Once you click ‘Add Colleges’, you’ll be able to search for the schools you want to add. Common App provides a search function that allows you to easily find the schools you’re interested in. Once you find a school, simply click on it to select it.

Agree to any additional school-specific questions

Some schools may have additional questions or requirements that you need to complete. These questions are specific to each school and are designed to gather more information about you as an applicant. Make sure to carefully read and answer these questions to ensure your application is complete.

Officially submit the new additions

After you’ve selected the schools you want to add and completed any additional questions, it’s time to officially submit your new additions. Be sure to review your application to ensure all the necessary information is included.

Once you’re satisfied, click the ‘Submit’ button to send your updated application to the newly added schools.

Adding schools to the Common App after submitting your initial application is a straightforward process. By following these steps, you can easily expand your college options and increase your chances of finding the perfect fit for your educational journey.

Remember to check each school’s specific deadlines and requirements to ensure you submit your application on time.

Requirements for Sending Test Scores and Other Materials

When it comes to adding schools to the Common App after submitting, one of the important considerations is the requirement for sending test scores and other materials. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

You’ll likely need to send updated test scores and transcripts to new schools

Adding new schools to your Common App may require you to send updated test scores and transcripts. This is because different colleges have different admission requirements and may want to see your most recent academic achievements.

It’s important to check with each individual college to see if they require updated materials and how they prefer to receive them.

For example, if you took the SAT or ACT after submitting your initial application, you may need to request official score reports to be sent directly from the testing agency to the schools you are adding.

Similarly, if you have received new grades or academic honors, you may need to request updated transcripts to be sent to the colleges.

It’s also worth noting that some colleges may allow you to self-report test scores or unofficial transcripts initially, but may require official documentation later in the application process. Be sure to review each college’s specific policies to ensure you are submitting the correct materials.

Check each college’s requirements and deadlines

Every college has its own set of requirements and deadlines for receiving additional materials. It’s crucial to carefully review each college’s website or contact their admissions office to understand their specific requirements and deadlines.

Some colleges may have strict deadlines, while others may be more flexible. It’s important to stay organized and keep track of the requirements for each school you are adding to your Common App. Missing a deadline or failing to meet a specific requirement could potentially impact your chances of admission.

Additionally, you should be aware that some colleges may require you to pay an additional fee for submitting updated materials or adding schools after the initial submission. Make sure to factor in these costs when considering adding new schools to your Common App.

Send additional documents as soon as possible after adding schools

Once you have added new schools to your Common App, it’s recommended to send the required additional documents as soon as possible. This will ensure that the colleges receive your updated information in a timely manner and can properly review your application.

Remember, colleges receive a large volume of applications, and submitting your materials promptly will help avoid any delays or complications in the evaluation process. It’s always better to be proactive and submit your materials early rather than waiting until the last minute.

Strategies for Deciding Which Colleges to Add

Focus on schools you’re likely to get into based on your stats

When deciding which colleges to add to the Common App after submitting, it’s important to consider your academic qualifications and achievements. Take a look at your GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities.

Research the average statistics of admitted students at each college you’re considering. This will give you an idea of whether or not you have a good chance of being accepted. It’s always a good idea to have a mix of safety schools, target schools, and reach schools in your list.

Consider adding colleges with late deadlines

If you missed the regular deadline for submitting your applications, don’t worry! Many colleges have late deadlines or rolling admissions. These colleges often give you more time to gather your materials and submit your application.

Take advantage of this opportunity by researching colleges with late deadlines and considering adding them to your Common App. This way, you’ll have more options and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Be strategic about schools in regions you’d like to study in

If you have a specific region or location in mind where you’d like to study, consider adding colleges in that area to your Common App. This can be advantageous for a few reasons. Firstly, studying in a region that you’re interested in can enhance your overall college experience.

Secondly, certain regions may offer unique opportunities or resources in your chosen field of study. For example, if you’re interested in marine biology, adding colleges in coastal areas might give you access to research opportunities or internships at marine research institutions.

Research each school thoroughly before adding

Before adding any colleges to your Common App, it’s crucial to research each school thoroughly. Look into the academic programs, faculty, campus culture, extracurricular activities, and any other factors that are important to you.

This will help you make an informed decision about whether or not a particular college is a good fit for you. Reach out to current students or alumni, read reviews, and visit the college if possible. Remember, adding a college to your Common App is a commitment, so make sure you’re confident in your choices.


While it is possible to add colleges to your Common App after submitting, doing so requires awareness of deadlines, prompt follow-up on required documents, and strategic thinking. With smart planning, however, you can expand your college options even after submitting your initial Common App.

Use this opportunity to apply to additional schools you feel are a great fit. Best of luck as you navigate the process of applying to college!

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