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Common Application vs. individual applications

Many US universities use the Common Application process. This allows students to apply to several universities simultaneously. So they need to fill only 1 form. The Common Application System has simplified the process of applying to multiple universities in many ways. So applying is now easy and saves students time which is a plus.


Students only need to fill out their personal information, school history, activities, and essays once. However, some universities may ask for more materials or essays than what is in the Common Application depending on their curriculum, which you will send them separately.


In contrast, when you apply, each university requires you to fill out different forms that differ from the general application. Universities can make their own rules with this method it is up to them. But it takes more time and students have to enter the same information many times. This method allows universities to make their own rules and it takes more time and requires students to enter the same information multiple times.


Stanford University uses the Common Application. They also ask for additional articles and materials specific to their organization. These include short answer questions and letters from people who know you well that contain many of your most important words. MIT has a different system for applying and it is quite different from the normal application. Students must complete MIT’s specific form. They will also be given additional materials depending on their work and experience. They can do this on MIT’s website. Students must understand what each university is applying for.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for applying to the US vary by school and program, which varies from school to program. There are 3 types of deadlines for college applications: Early Decision / Regular Decision / Rolling Admission. Rolling admission means that applications are accepted continuously.

Early Decision (ED): Students can apply for this program early, usually in November. This is a mandatory option, which means they must attend this school if they are accepted. They will receive a decision by December if the university accepts the student, but they must choose that university and reject others. That is, the student cannot go to any other university.

Early Action (EA): This is similar to Early Decision, but you don’t commit to it. In December or January, schools tell students if they have been accepted. Students should apply early. They have until May 1 to decide.
Regular Decision: This is the most common deadline, usually on or after January 1st. Apply by this deadline, and we’ll let you know in April if you’re accepted.

Rolling Admissions: We review requests when we receive them. We usually make a decision within a few weeks to a few months after you apply. We will let you know our decision.

For example, Harvard University has a regular decision deadline of January 1st, while MIT offers Early Action with a deadline closer to November 1st. However, students need to check the deadlines for each university they are interested in. Deadlines may vary from university to university. It’s also a good idea to submit your request early to ensure they receive all your materials on time.

Required documentation (transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays)

Documentation required for admission to a USA university usually includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays.

Transcript: A transcript is the official record of a student’s academic performance, including grades, courses taken, and CGPA. Universities require a list of high schools and colleges/universities that you have previously attended. They also need a document showing your grades from these schools Grades show how good a student is. Those entering the school look at grades to decide if there is a chance at this place. Grades show how well a student does in school.

Letters of recommendation: Individuals can get letters of recommendation from people who know them well that the person is currently taking students and has offered you to work with them. These people can be teachers, counselors, or others. Letters support the person’s character, abilities and qualities. Letters can help the person apply for something. These letters provide more information about the applicant than just their grades and test scores. Letters help us understand the person better. Universities usually ask for 2-3 reference letters but this can vary.

Essays: Essays are similar to personal statements. You write them down when you apply for something. They are an opportunity for those applying to show who they are. People can write about their experiences and goals. People who decide who gets into a school read these essays.

They read them to learn about the person who wrote them. They want to know what drives them and what they are passionate about. Essay topics may differ for each university.
During the interview, they often ask:

  • Personal challenges
  • Interest
  • Future career plans.

Good essays show that the writer can communicate well. They also show that the writer knows himself and has a good interest in the university and its programs.