Can You Submit Different Common App Essays to Different Schools

August 1, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Can You Submit Different Common App Essays to Different Schools

Can you submit different common app essays to different schools?  Students will occasionally inquire as to whether or not they are permitted to send in distinct iterations of their Common App essay to each individual school.

The Common App is adaptable. Therefore, the answer to the question is that you can absolutely change the essay, submit it to a school, and then change it again before submitting it again. But on what planet would you even consider doing that?

When someone wants to write different Common App essays for different schools, it’s usually because they believe they need to tailor their application to each individual school. In other words, they want to stand out from the crowd.

Male student using a laptop for college application in a libaray.

However, aside from doing your best work, you should too always check for errors in spelling and grammar. Have faith that you have put in the necessary effort, that your writing will stand out, and that the right school will recognize you for who you are and genuinely want you to be a part of their community just as much as you want to attend that school.

What exactly is the Common App?

Over 900 distinct educational institutions are members of the non-profit organization known as the Common Application, which is a membership organization. They are dedicated to assisting each and every student in accomplishing their objectives by:

  • Taking measures to remove the logistical and institutional barriers that prevent access to higher education
  • Helping those who help students in other ways
  • Providing support to a diverse range of students and organizations
  • The member institutions of our organization are being informed using data and insights.

Both first-time and transfer students have the ability to apply to a number of different universities all at once by using this website. As a consequence of this, students need to provide the information that the majority of schools require only once, such as their name, their address, and the extracurricular activities they participate in.

Group of students looking at a laptop while talking.

It is a streamlined process for applying to a college that enables you to apply to a number of schools all at once and is now accepted by the vast majority of major educational institutions. This approach will not only help you save time but will also alleviate the stress of having to put together unique application materials for each of the potential schools you are interested in attending.

Even if your college does not accept the Common Application, the majority of colleges require components that are very similar to one another. This makes it possible for you to quickly transfer data such as your official high school transcript and your scores on standardized tests.

Main Features

On the Common App website, there are five tabs available. Students typically start by adding schools through the “College Search” option on the website. Once they have been uploaded, students can view them on the “Dashboard” tab, which provides a summary of your application progress and required tasks for each institution. Once they have been uploaded, students can view them on the “Dashboard” tab.

You will need to switch to the “Common App” page in order to finish filling out the rest of your application documents. These will include your family history, transcripts, and test results.

Institutions of Higher Education that Accept this Application

Over 950 schools and institutions have given their stamp of approval to the Common Application, making it the industry standard for college admissions applications. The majority of these schools, including public universities, some international institutions, and all of the universities in the Ivy League, accept applications submitted using the Common Application.

Here are some of the most prestigious institutions that accept the Common Application:

  • Arizona State University
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Northwestern University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University

There’s a Time and Place to Show Them that You Care

So, can you submit different common app essays to different schools? The answer is yes. Keep in mind the application process for colleges may include supplemental materials. You should use the supplement as an opportunity to demonstrate some of your impressive knowledge and to really tailor your writing to the requirements of a particular school. The supplement should still be solely about you.

If a student does not get into the Early Decision of the school of their choice, it maybe suggested that they revise their Common Application essay for it to be considered. We may view the student’s Common Application essay as part of the “It’s Going to Be Okay” package in the event that they are not accepted into their school of the first choice.

The State of Being Indecisive

Students who constantly think of submitting different common app essays to different schools and have written two different versions of their Common App essays and can’t choose between them sometimes tell us that they want to submit different versions of their essays to different schools.

You may send us an email if you are having trouble deciding which option to go with, and we will guide you through the process. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process. We strongly advise that you make an effort right now to overcome your indecision and make a choice about it. Remember now is a good time to make an effort to get over it because there are many more options available in the real world than there were in high school.

Can You Have Multiple Common App Essays?

Can you have multiple common app essays? Can you submit different common app essays to different schools?  In essence, the Common Application will grant you unrestricted permission to change anything that you want across the board, including any and all parts of the application. A personal essay is the only exception to this rule. You are free to make as many changes to your writing as you’d like, for instance, in the Additional Information section of the form.

Young woman typing in a table.

Students who want to write something particular for one school and then modify it so that it can be used for other schools can easily do so using this method. during the time that he or she is working with additional information.

Can you submit different common app essays to different schools? Indeed you can. In addition,  you could in theory write something different in the “Additional Information” section of each school’s application if you wanted to; however, doing so is plausible but not ideally recommended.

The Personal Essay

When discussing the personal essay, we must acknowledge that there are certain constraints. Students are only permitted to submit three unique versions of their personal statement to the Common Application, according to those in charge of the application. The word “submit” is the most important.

You will only have two more opportunities to make changes to that piece of writing after you have already handed in a draft of the essay to one of the schools to that you are applying. You are free to make any number of alterations and edits to it that your heart desires before sending it in. But the clock starts ticking for you in terms of versions of the Common Application the moment you press that “Submit” button for the first time.

What Exactly Constitutes a “Version”?

You have a new version of an essay that you have already submitted somewhere if you change even just one comma in it after you have submitted it. Alternatively, if you delete your entire essay and enter a new one, that counts as a new version of the essay as well.

A new version is created whenever there is any change, regardless of how significant or insignificant it may be. If you believe that you will want to make changes to the personal essay that you submitted with your Common Application, then you should ensure that those changes are meaningful. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t make additional changes, even though you really want to make them, simply because you altered some inconsequential details along the way.

Writing in a note book in front of a laptop.

Though the restrictions are somewhat bothersome that the Common Application has placed on the number of different versions of your personal essay that you are allowed to submit; however, things are as they are. Having a conscious awareness of both your capabilities and your limitations.

Regarding the modification of your application, this will go a long way toward allowing you to manage how you approach the submission strategy for your application. Give Great College Advice a call and let us know how we can be of service to you in the application process if you would like additional guidance and assistance.

Can I Submit the Same Essay to Different Colleges?

Can I submit the same essay to different colleges? You certainly can, but the system is not very adaptable. With the exception of the essays, the Common Application does not place any limits on the number of times a change can be made to any part of the application.

In most cases, students are required to submit their changes to a single college before they can make any others. After that, they will have the option to revise the activity page, add or remove test scores, and so on. Alterations to the essay, however, are restricted due to the nature of the assignment.

The essay may be revised a total of three times, with no more than two changes allowed per revision. This is an extremely important point, but one that is frequently overlooked by students. Unlocking an application is something that students will need to do in order to be able to make changes to an essay after they have already submitted it to a college.

After a student has handed in an essay to a college, they are not permitted to make any alterations to the paper. You have the ability to unlock the file once more, up to a total of three times. Your final essay draft will be sent to any colleges that are still interested.

I Made a Mistake in My Common App Essay

If I made a mistake in my common app essay, am I still allowed to edit it? After I’ve turned in my application, can I make as many changes to my personal statement as I’d like to before it’s considered complete? The correct response is “yes.” After you have submitted the essay for the first time, you are permitted to make an unlimited number of edits to it.

Typing an essay using a laptop.

To make changes to your personal statement, return to the Common App tab and select the Writing section from the menu. To make any necessary edits, you need only click within the text box itself and select the appropriate option. After you have finished making changes, make sure to click “Continue” to save them before moving on.

The fact that once you’ve sent in your Common Application essay, as well as any other part of your application, you are permitted to make an unlimited number of edits to it. On the other hand, these modifications will not be reflected in applications that have already been sent in; rather, they will only appear in applications that are sent in the future.

If you would like to make changes to an essay that you have already submitted to a school, you will need to get in touch with the admissions office of that school in order to determine whether or not this is possible.

We only recommend doing this if there is a major error with your essay, as attempting to slightly modify your essay after submission won’t reflect well on your proofreading skills. Instead, we recommend doing this only if there is a major error with your essay.

Advice on How to Alter Your Common Application Essay

First things first: Put the previous version away in a different location and save the current version somewhere else, like a Google doc, before you do anything else. You don’t want to make changes and then find out later that you can’t go back to the version you had before because you decided you liked the previous one better.

Consider the shortcomings of the previous version, and make sure to address those issues in the revised version. When you are revising your essay, you should concentrate on filling in the gaps that existed in the previous version.

You don’t want to go overboard with the revisions because, most likely, your earlier draft included several parts that were particularly strong. Instead, just focus on what really needs to be improved, and make sure that this is the primary focus of your editing.

If you feel that the topic you chose for your essay did not do a good job of capturing your personality, you may find that in certain circumstances it is preferable to begin the process all over again. It is not a problem to start over, but before you do so, you should ensure that it is something you want to do one hundred percent of the time.

Ensure that the revised essay is cohesive with the rest of your application and any supplemental materials you have included.

Your application comes across as a unified and comprehensive reflection of you. It is important that all of the components work cohesively to paint a clear picture of who you are, both as a student and as a person. Make sure that the essay continues to complement the rest of your application after you have made any edits to it.

It is best to avoid having it overlap with other pieces, such as the supplements that are specific to your school. At the same time, you need to make sure that you are covering all of the aspects of your history and personality that you want the admissions committee to see.

Perform both a double-check and a triple-check before submitting your work. Obviously, this is something you need to take care of before you even consider pressing the send button in the first place. Repeatedly read through the essay you have written. It is important to read it out loud in addition to reading it silently because doing so can help you find errors that you may have missed the first time. If at all possible, have another person look it over.

Now, if you’re an upcoming college student and are searching for guidance in getting entry into one of the elite universities in the country? We’ve got you covered! At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight will assist you throughout the entirety of the college admissions process in order to increase your chances of gaining entry into your dream school.


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