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What is "Common Application" for Undergraduate Admission in USA

Are you applying to college soon? If so, you’ve probably heard of the Common Application—an online application you can use for more than 800 colleges. Since you only have to fill out one application, it saves you time when applying to college. In addition to time, it saves you a lot of money.

But which colleges use the Common Application? And which Common Application schools are in your state? We have a complete list here, broken down by state and updated for the 2019-20 academic year.

What Is the Common Application?

The Common Application is a college application shared by its member colleges. Member colleges then accept this application from prospective students. There are total 800 members.

So what does this mean for you? Instead of filling out an individual application for each school, all you have to do is fill out the Common Application once and send it to whichever colleges you want to apply to that accept it.

However, this doesn’t mean you can apply to dozens of colleges with the click of a button. Many colleges have additional supplements you have to submit. These are forms with additional questions and sometimes an extra essay.

Furthermore, most colleges have application fees, so you can’t apply to hundreds of schools—unless, of course, you have a lot of money to burn!

Finally, the Common Application only accepts colleges that use a holistic review process. In other words, Common Application colleges look at each applicant as a whole, taking into account grades, SAT/ACT scores, essays, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, etc. Because of this, all of these components are part of the Common Application. (However, the essay is no longer required for all schools.)

While the Common Application is used by many private universities, some public school systems, including many schools in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, accept it as well. However, you should be aware that public schools tend to have their own application systems.

Lastly, the Common Application is accepted by the following top colleges and universities:

All eight Ivy League schools (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale) Many other highly selective schools, including Stanford, the University of Chicago, Caltech, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and Rice

International Common Application Members by Country

The following list, organized by country, contains all international Common Application schools. At present, 60 schools outside the US use the Common Application.


  • Monash University


  • American University in Bulgaria


  • Bishop's University

  • Queen's University, Canada

  • Quest University Canada

  • St. Thomas University,

  • CanadaUniversity of Guelph


  • Duke Kunshan University

  • University of Michigan - Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute


  • The American University of Paris


  • Bard College Berlin

  • Jacobs University Bremen

Hong Kong

  • The University of Hong Kong


  • Mary Immaculate College

  • Maynooth University

  • University College

  • DublinUniversity of Limerick


  • The American University of RomeJohn Cabot University in Rome


  • Doshisha University, The Institute for the Liberal Arts

  • Temple University, Japan Campus


  • Riga Business School


  • American University of Beirut


  • Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

  • Northwestern University in Qatar


  • Yale NUS College

South Korea

  • Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Korea

  • Underwood International College, Yonsei University


  • IE University

  • IE University—Madrid

  • Saint Louis University—Madrid Campus

  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid


  • Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)

  • Franklin University Switzerland

United Kingdom

  • Arts University Bournemouth

  • Bath Spa University

  • Bournemouth University

  • Brunel University London

  • Durham University

  • ESCP Europe Business School

  • Newcastle University

  • Regent's University London

  • Richmond, The American International University in London

  • Robert Gordon University

  • St. Mary's University, Twickenham, London

  • University of Aberdeen

  • University of Bristol

  • University of Derby

  • University of East Anglia

  • University of East London

  • University of Glasgow

  • University of Huddersfield

  • University of Lincoln

  • University of Plymouth

  • University of Sheffield

  • University of St. Andrews

  • University of Stirling

  • University of Warwick

  • University of West London

  • University of Worcester

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