Can You Change Your Common App Essay After Submitting?

Are you a high school student preparing to apply for college? If so, you’ve likely heard of the Common Application.

The Common App is a popular platform over 900 colleges and universities use to streamline the application process.

It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your unique voice, experiences, and perspective to admissions officers.

This article briefly overviews the Common App, focusing on its essay component.

Whether you’re just starting to research the college app process or are already knee-deep in applications, this guide will give you the information you need to understand the Common App and its role in the admissions process.

Step-By-Step Guide To Submitting Your Common App Essay

The Common App is a widely used platform that allows you to apply to multiple colleges with just one application.

One of the critical components of the Common App is the essay, which can significantly determine whether you get accepted into your dream school.

This is how to submit your Common App essay and ensure that it’s ready for review by admissions officers:

1. Create a Common App Account

The first step in submitting your Common App essay is to create an account on the Common App website.

This process is straightforward and requires you to provide basic information about yourself, your academic background, and your intended college major.

2. Add Your Chosen Colleges

Once you’ve created an account, you must add the colleges you’re applying to.

You can search for colleges by name, state, or other criteria and add them to your list of schools.

3. Fill Out the Application

After you’ve added your schools, you’ll be prompted to fill out the Application.

This includes providing personal information, academic histories, and any additional materials required by each college, such as recommendation letters or test scores.

4. Write Your Essay

The essay is one of the essential parts of the Common Application, as it allows you to showcase your writing skills and tell your unique story.

There are several prompts to choose from, so be sure to pick the one that best represents who you are and what you want to communicate to admissions officers.

5. Review Your Essay

Once you’ve written your essay, it’s essential to review it carefully to ensure it’s error-free and effectively communicates your message.

You may also want to ask a trusted friend or family member to review your essay, as a fresh set of eyes can help you catch mistakes you may have missed.

6. Submit Your Application

Once you’ve reviewed your essay and are confident it’s ready to be submitted, you can finalize your Application and submit it to the colleges on your list.

You’ll need to pay an application fee for each school you apply to, so be sure to budget accordingly.

7. Wait for a Response

After submitting your Application, all that’s left to do is wait for a response from each college.

This can be nerve-wracking, but remember that admissions officers are looking for well-rounded students who will positively contribute to their campus community.

If you’ve tried to write a full Common App essay, you’re already on the right track to success.

Can You Change Your Common App Essay After Submitting?

Can You Make Changes To Your Common App Essay After Submitting?

If you have not yet submitted your Common Application, you can change your essay any time before submitting it.

However, if you have already submitted your Application, the policy regarding changes will vary depending on the school.

Some colleges will allow you to change your essay only by adding new entries, not editing previous information, until the application deadline.

In contrast, others may have an earlier deadline for changes.

Other schools may not allow any changes to be made once the Application has been submitted.

Some changes may only be allowed under specific circumstances.

For example, changes may be permitted if there is a technical issue with the application platform or if there are errors in the essay that were not caught during the initial review.

So, if you are unsure whether you can change your essay, you must check the policy of each school you are applying to.

This information can usually be found on the college or university’s website or by contacting their admissions office directly.

What To Consider Before Making Changes

1. Risk of Introducing New Errors

While you may feel your essay needs improvement, making changes can lead to unintentional mistakes.

This can include typos, grammatical errors, or inconsistencies in your writing style.

Before making any changes, you must review your essay and identify improvement areas.

Consider seeking feedback from a teacher, counsellor, or trusted friend to help you identify any areas for improvement.

If you make changes, carefully proofread your essay to catch any errors that may have been introduced.

2. Loss of Original Tone and Voice

Your essay reflects who you are, and any changes you make can alter your application’s overall tone and feel.

Before making any changes, it’s essential to consider whether the changes align with your original message and tone.

If you make changes, read your essay aloud to ensure it sounds like you and your message haven’t been lost.

3. Negative Perception from Admissions Officers

While some colleges may allow changes to be made to the Common App essay, it’s essential to consider how admissions officers may perceive your Application if you make changes.

Admissions officers may view changes as a lack of attention to detail or indecisiveness, which could negatively impact your Application.

Before making any changes, it’s essential to consider whether they are necessary and align with your original message and tone.

If you make changes, explain your reasoning in your Application, such as a significant life event that influenced your perspective.

Tips For Writing A Strong Common App Essay: Crafting Your Best Application

1. Choose a Meaningful Topic

The first step in writing a full Common App essay is choosing a topic that is meaningful to you.

This could be an experience, an accomplishment, a challenge you’ve overcome, or a significant person or place in your life.

Your topic should showcase your unique perspective and highlight your strengths and values.

2. Craft a Compelling Introduction

Your introduction is the first impression that admissions officers will have of your essay, so it’s essential to make it count.

Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for your essay.

You could start with a personal anecdote, a quote, a surprising fact, or a rhetorical question.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant to your topic and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.

3. Use Specific Examples and Details

Use specific examples and details to illustrate your points to make your essay memorable and engaging.

This could be a story about a particular experience, a vivid description of a person or place, or a specific accomplishment that showcases your strengths.

Using concrete examples will bring your essay to life and help the reader connect with your story.

4. Show, Don’t Tell

One of the keys to writing a compelling essay is to show, not tell.

Instead of simply stating that you’re a hard worker or a compassionate person, use descriptive language and sensory details to paint a picture for the reader.

Using imagery and sensory language will create a more vivid and engaging essay that will stand out.

5. Craft a Memorable Conclusion

Your conclusion is the final impression that admissions officers will have of your essay, so it’s essential to make it count.

Your conclusion should summarize your main points and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

You could end with a call to action, a reflection on what you’ve learned, or a memorable quote that ties everything together.

How The Common App Essay Is Evaluated: A Guide To Writing A Winning Essay

1. Content and Focus

The content of your Common App essay is the most critical factor in the evaluation process.

Admissions officers seek an essay that provides insight into your personality, character, and motivations.

They want to learn more about who you are beyond your grades and test scores.

It’s essential to stay focused on the topic and avoid writing a general essay that lacks depth or specificity.

2. Structure and Organization

In addition to content, admissions officers also evaluate the structure and organization of your essay.

A well-organized essay shows that you can express your thoughts clearly and coherently.

It also makes it easier for the reader to follow your arguments and understand your message.

3. Language and Style

The language and style of your Common App essay are also essential considerations.

Admissions officers are looking for a well-written, polished, and error-free essay.

They want to see that you can communicate effectively and use language thoughtfully and creatively.

To improve your language and style, read widely and practice writing regularly.

Use descriptive language and sensory details to create a vivid picture for the reader.

Avoid clichés or overused phrases, and strive for clarity and concision in your writing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Common App Essay

Can I copy and paste my essay into Common App?

Yes, you can copy and paste your essay in the Common App textbook but ensure that your paragraphs, indents, and formats don’t reset.

Can I use the Common App essay for transfer?

You have the liberty to use a Common App essay that you used for admission for transfer purposes. However, make sure that you change the date and customize it to suit the present purpose.

What should I avoid in a Common App Essay?

When submitting a Common App essay, ensure you don’t talk about the bad things about the college, don’t talk about your hero, and avoid personal topics.

Can Colleges know if you copied an essay?

Yes, most colleges employ professional admission officers that can easily detect if you are the writer of the essay or not.

Can You Change Your Common App Essay After Submitting?

It depends.


The ability to change your Common App essay after submitting it is possible but is subject to certain restrictions and deadlines.

Suppose you are considering making changes to your essay, it is essential to carefully review the guidelines set by the Common App and the specific colleges to which you have applied.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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