Common Application

We are asking all SLA students to create Common App accounts so that they can spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what’s really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework!  Applying via the Common App also means that we can send your documents electronically through Naviance, thus, helping you save money on postage and paper.

The Common Application is used by more than 488 colleges and universities throughout the country, and many colleges use ONLY the Common Application.  Member colleges encourage its use and all give equal consideration to the Common Application and the college’s own form. 

We are noticing students are struggling to navigate the Common App.  Below are some steps to help you complete it.

  1. To begin the Common Application, go to
  2. If you have not registered, go to the Never Registered? section and follow the prompts until you have an account.  If you don’t do this step, the information you enter will not be saved and you will be unable to print out a copy of what you did.  You also do not want to have to re-enter the information when you prepare applications for other colleges that use the Common Application. You cannot save or print the application unless you complete all fields with the yellow dot and SAVE each section.
  3. Make sure that you select a username and password that you will remember as you will need these at a later time. USE YOUR MOODLE USERNAME & PASSWORD.
  4. After you have filled out all of the necessary items and hit the Register button, your name and Common App ID will appear on the screen – print this page and keep for your records!
  5. Once you have registered, you will just need to go to Login in the APPLY! section and enter your username and password on subsequent visits to the Common App site.
  6. Read the Instructions page.  It contains very useful information which will help you navigate the website.
  7. It is recommended that you start your application in the My Colleges section by adding those institutions to which you wish to apply. Once you have done this, you will be able to utilize the full functionality of the system.  All the Colleges you select will appear in the list of My Colleges.  You will have the option to Search for (more) Colleges or Remove Colleges.
  8. Under each college you select, a list of the required application components will appear.  To begin applying to each college, select the Application option.
  9. As you work on your application, be sure to SAVE regularly by clicking on the Save button at the top or the bottom of the page. When you complete a page, be sure to SAVE before clicking on the next page number located on the bottom of each page. If you are missing any sections, you will receive a System Message asking you to correct the required fields.
  10.  Future Plans – In this first section, you will provide your application type (Early Admission (EA), Early Action (EA), rolling, regular decision), answer questions about financial need, and possible career plans.
  11.  Applicant/Demographics/Family – These sections will ask you basic applicant, demographic, and family questions. It is critical that the contact information you provide is accurate so that colleges can get in touch with you. Do not use an inappropriate email address -this is your first impression – make it a good one – put an email address you check often.
  12. Academics – This section will ask for your educational data including current year courses and any honors or distinctions you may have received.  Remember to use our CEEB code 393238 to identify your school and make sure you select Science Leadership Academy as your secondary school. You will also need your school’s counselor information: Karina Hirschfield, College Counselor, 215- 979-5620 phone, 215-567-2809 fax,
  13. Tests – This section will ask you for standardized testing information. Make sure you add the exact test date and scores and if you are planning on taking another SAT or ACT in the future, type in the month and year of your intended test date.
  14.  Activities – This section will ask you for your extracurricular activities and work experience. For the extracurricular activities section, enter the information in the chart in order of interest to you. You may use the Add Activity button to continue adding to your list of activities. You will have the option to provide more details about an activity that is not listed in the drop box under Select Activity.  For the Work Experience section, make sure that you add your employment history in chronological order.
  15. Writing – This section will ask you to elaborate on one of your activities, allow you to upload your personal essay, and provide information about any disciplinary history. The Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Colleges that wish to review custom essay responses will request them on their Supplement form.  If you answer that you’ve been responsible for a disciplinary violation in school or have been convicted of a crime, we recommend that you provide an explanation in the Additional Information section.
  16. Signature – This section will allow you to submit your application to one or more institutions at a time.  Make sure that you have print previewed your application before completing the Certification section and typing your name and date at the bottom.  Before you complete this page, make sure to find out about any supplements this college requires.  You might want to pay particular attention to the number of teacher recommendations, SAT tests, the application deadline, the application fee, and the college’s address.
  17. Supplements – If a college requests a supplement, which may include an additional essay, you must provide it in order for your application to that school to be considered complete. Some schools will want you to submit supplemental materials online while others will require that you mail them in separately. You can click on the Supplements tab on the left side of the screen for specific instructions for each of the schools to which you are applying. For any supplemental materials which you mail or e-mail directly to the college, be sure to type your name and social security number on the top of each page.
  18. Payment – Your application will not be considered complete unless the school receives the application fee (or an application fee waiver- see Mrs. Hirschfield). Some schools accept payment online using a credit card while others require that you mail them a check. Be sure to follow the instructions for each school.
  19. School Forms– There are a number of school forms that are required to be submitted with your application.  Please make sure that you follow proper procedure to ensure these get sent out from your school. (Note:  Even though SLA uses Naviance, please adhere to our procedures.)
  • Teacher Evaluation – This section applies to academic recommendations, not for your advisor recommendation. In other words, do not give your advisor a Teacher Evaluation form!  Your teachers will complete their Teacher Evaluations in Naviance and the College Office will take care of forwarding them to your respective schools.
  • Secondary School Report – Because SLA will be using its own Secondary School Report through Naviance, you DO NOT need to print this Common App form out or give us a copy. Your advisor’s letter will be attached with our SLA Secondary School Report form. Please DO NOT give the School Report Form to your advisor.   

20. Midyear Report and Final Report – The same is true for the Midyear Report and Final Report forms – SLA will automatically send both of these forms to all colleges that you are applying to and we will NOT use this form. Refer to My Colleges on the top left hand side of the page to help you keep track of your applications in progress and to take a quick look at schools’ deadlines.

21.PROOFREAD everything carefully as you want the colleges to remember you for what you wrote- not what you wrote incorrectly.

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