This process should take approximately 5 minutes.
Items in Common App marked with a red asterisk * are required. Students are not required to complete items that do not have the red asterisk.
Colleges are interested in understanding your background and the context in which you have grown up. They want to understand your family circumstances to gain more insight into who you are. In this section, you will complete the Family section of your Common App application. You will provide the following information:
- Your parents’ marital status
- Which parent(s) you live with
- Your parents’ occupations, educational information, and contact information
- Information about your siblings, if any
This is an example of the Family section in Common App.
In this video, we discuss how to complete the Family section of Common App. This section includes information about the student’s parents, the parents’ marital status, who the student lives with, and siblings. The purpose of this section is to share information about your family with colleges so that they can better understand the context in which you have grown up. This section should take approximately 5 minutes.
Tips & Reminders
- Parents’ marital status is required information. If you do not live with either one of your parents, you should select “Other” and you will be given a space to explain your situation.
- Before sharing parents’ email addresses, students should first get permission from parents.
- When deciding what to list as a parent’s occupation and education level, advanced professional degrees such as MD, MBA, and JD are equivalent to a PhD or other degree earned in graduate school.
- If you cannot talk to your parents to obtain information, you may select the “I have limited information about this parent” option.
- Your family background provides admissions officers with more context about you and your background. They want to understand your family circumstances to gain more insight into who you are. There is no specific answer that universities are looking for. It is just another piece of the application. Try to be as accurate as possible when completing this section.