Items marked with a red asterisk * are required. Students are not required to complete items that do not have the red asterisk.
Colleges want to understand your educational history. In this section, you will complete the Education section of your Common App application, where you will provide the following information:
- Your educational history, including high schools and colleges attended
- Your GPA
- Your senior year courses
- Any academic honors or awards you have received
- Your future plans
This is an example of the Education section in Common App.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Current or Most Recent Secondary/High School section of Common App. This section should take approximately 3 minutes.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Other Secondary/High Schools section of Common App.
The purpose of this section is for you to share the names of any high schools that you attended before the one that you currently attend. This section should take approximately 3 minutes.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Colleges & Universities section of Common App.
The purpose of this section is for you to share with colleges any college-level courses that you have taken outside of your high school. These courses could include summer programs at colleges that you have attended where you took courses for credit. This section should take approximately 2 – 5 minutes.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Grades section of Common App. The purpose of this section is for you to share with colleges information about the size of your high school graduating class, your class rank, your GPA, GPA scale, and whether your grades are weighted or unweighted. This section should take approximately 5 minutes.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Current or Most Recent Year Courses section of Common App. This section includes information about the courses that you are currently taking and plan to take for the rest of the school year. This section should take approximately 15 minutes.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Education – Honors, Community Based Organizations & Future Plans sections of Common App. These sections include information about academic honors and awards that you have received, if any. They also include information about whether you have received support in your college applications from a Community Based Organization and what your future plans may be. These sections should take approximately 2 – 7 minutes.
Tips & Reminders
- There is a question about whether your progression through secondary school has been affected. This question is about whether you will graduate earlier or later than the typical four-year time period. Covid was disruptive for many schools and many students. If your high school went online during covid, you do not need to indicate that shift here. But if you took time off from high school, that is the type of information you can explain in this section. Colleges understand that sometimes students do not complete high school in four years and they are interested in understanding your situation. When you explain why you needed more time to graduate, explain clearly and thoughtfully what happened.
- If you have attended more than one high school, colleges are interested in understanding why. This is where you can provide a straightforward explanation of the reasons for attending multiple high schools.
- Make sure you have a copy of your official high school transcript before completing the Grades and the Current or Most Recent Year Courses sections of Common App. Do not guess when completing this section or abbreviate the names of courses.
- If you participate in a dual enrollment program, which is a program where you take college courses for which you receive both high school and college credit, the “Colleges & Universities” section is the place to enter this information. Credits earned from summer programs on a college campus can also be entered here. If you are unsure about where to enter this information, check with your high school counselor. Common App asks you to list courses taken at colleges and universities, so you are expected to list all courses taken for credit at these institutions.
- If there are additional questions, Common App Solutions Center has information for applicants, counselors, and recommenders.
Class rank is a way to compare a student’s grades to those of their classmates. Some schools do not rank students. If a school’s rank is Exact, that means the school gives students a numerical ranking based on the strength of their GPA in comparison to their classmates. Decile means the school ranks students according to the top 10%, top 20%, top 30%, etc. Quintile means the school ranks students according to the top 20%, 40%, 60%, or 80% of the class. Quartile means the school ranks students according to the top 25%, 50%, or 75% of the class.
A weighted GPA is based on adding an extra point or percentage of a point for Honors, Advanced Placement, college, or dual enrollment courses you have taken in high school. Check with your school counselor or administrator about whether your high school calculates a weighted GPA.
An unweighted GPA is a calculation of your GPA based on the grades you have received in your classes at your high school. An unweighted GPA does not award any extra points for Honors or AP classes. Check with your school counselor or school administrator if you are unsure of your unweighted GPA.
Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are organizations that work in schools or communities to provide educational support or other services for free.