The Common App, “an online undergraduate college application accepted by over 400 independent colleges,” has recently launched a new, free mobile app called Common App onTrack.
OnTrack aims to help students… well, stay on track with their college common application essays, obviously. With Common App onTrack students can:
- View the list of colleges on their Common Application accounts.
- Add or remove colleges that they are considering.
- See each college’s submission status.
- Check what items remain incomplete for each application.
- Search the list of colleges that accept the Common App, and learn more about each one.
- Set reminders to stay on track with application requirements.
- Receive helpful push notifications for approaching deadlines or remaining tasks.
The app also offers quick access to college admissions websites and university contact information, as well as video tutorials, which walk users through tasks such as assigning recommenders and submitting their applications on the Common App website. Because onTrack was designed as a companion to the Common App website, note that you cannot actually complete these tasks using the app.
How is Common App onTrack most helpful for students?
Common App onTrack is probably most useful for designing an application schedule, and reminding a student to keep on top of it. Users can set customized reminders and push notifications to schedule tasks and alert themselves of deadlines (which may be especially useful around the holiday season).
How could Common App onTrack be better?
Apart from the notifications, the app is pretty bare bones and not always entirely intuitive. At this point, it is not possible to select a term or a plan (i.e. early action, regular decision) on the app to trigger a deadline, which seems like a basic feature that the app should provide. Nor is it possible to fill in answers (which is probably a good thing) or even review your answers.
If you tend to miss deadlines, are constantly on your smart phone (who isn’t?), and feel like you would benefit from consistent reminders, this app can definitely help you to stay on top of your applications. Or, if you simply get great satisfaction from ticking items off of your to-do list, then this app is worth considering.
If you like this app, you might also find helpful College Passport, which offers SAT prep and college application management.
Need more help with The Common App?
Check out our team’s analysis of The Common Application Essay Questions.
- Common App Essay 1: “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
- Common App Essay 2: “The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?”
- Common App Essay 3: “Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?”
- Common App Essay 4: “Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.”
- Common App Essay 5: “Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.”
Need some help with a college application? That’s what we’re here for!