Applying to College

Why Apply to College?

The future may seem uncertain, but college will help you discover the career path that matches your interests and motivates you to become the best version of yourself. You’ll learn to be more independent and gain the skills and knowledge you need to prepare you for the future. Meet mentors and fellow student leaders who inspire you to contribute and give back to your community and to the world.

Whatever your goals — getting a degree, owning a home, traveling the world — you can attain them. They require dedication and focus, but also financial stability.

Here’s how a college degree can help over a lifetime”:

  • Someone with a high school diploma can expect to earn $1.3 million.
  • A worker with some college but no degree earns $1.5 million.
  • An Associate’s degree-holder earns $1.7 million.
  • A worker with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $2.3 million.
  • Graduate degrees provide for even higher earnings:
    • A Master’s degree-holder earns $2.7 million.
    • A Doctoral degree-holder earns $3.3 million.
    • A Professional degree-holder earns $3.6 million.

Common App is a non-profit college access organization that helps students apply to college every year. Common App’s free college application tool is designed to make applying to college faster and easier. With Common App, you only need to use one system to apply to multiple colleges and universities. There are two main parts you fill out: a set of common questions and each college’s own specific questions. The best part is you only have to fill out the common questions one time!

Common App

  1. Gather Materials
    • Transcript
    • Test Scores
    • List of Activities and Involvement
    • List of Academic Honors and Achievements
    • Parent/Guardian Information
  2. Create an Account
    • Choose your registration type
    • If you are applying to college for the first time you'll select the "First Year Student" button.
    • Provide your login credentials
      • Make sure you use an email address you check often. This is the email the Common App and colleges will use to get in touch with you.
    • Complete your registration information
      • At the end, you will adjust your communication preferences and accept the Common App privacy policy.
      • Be sure to use your legal name as it appears on official school documents and standardized tests. This will make sure colleges can match documents to the correct person.
      • We will need some basic information about you like your name, home address, phone number, and date of birth.
    • Select "Create Account" to complete your account.
  3. Add Colleges
    • Which college(s) offer your program of study?
    • Consider distance away from home
    • College Cost
    • Type of Campus
    • Student Body
    • Job placement
  4. Engage Supporters - Who should you use as a recommendation?
    • Teacher
    • Coach, boss or others that can speak on your behalf
    • Counselor (High School Counselor)
  5. Understand Requirements
    • Deadlines
    • Application Fees
    • Courses and Grades
  6. Essay Prompts - See Below
  7. Submitting Your Application
    • Review your application
    • Pay the application fee
    • Submitting

Colleges in Michigan that use the Common App:

  • Albion College
  • Alma College
  • Aquinas College
  • Bake College
  • Calvin University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Cleary University
  • Concordia University
  • Cornerstone University
  • Davenport University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Hillsdale College
  • Hope College
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Kettering University
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Madonna University
  • Michigan State University
  • Northwood University
  • Olivet College
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • Spring Arbor University
  • University of Detroit Mercy
  • University of Michigan
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University

Common App announced 2021-22 Essay Prompts

Below is the full set of Common App essay prompts for 2021-22.

  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.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

External LinkThe Common App: Everything You Need to Know | Best Colleges

External LinkApply to college with Common App | Your future starts here

This section will be updated as student and parent questions arise. Please continue to check back or reach out to your local school counselor directly.