Common application for study abroad
- One of the trickiest parts of the admission season at a university abroad is the application process. While the eligibility criteria are more or less similar in majority of the institutions in a country, the application requirements differ among the universities as well as the countries.

Common applications present a very convenient platform for aspirants who wish to apply at more than one institution, even across countries.This frees the applicant from the hassle of going through the same process again and again.

Some of the common application platforms are discussed below:

Common Application:

Established in 1975, the common application is a platform for applying into 500 public and private institutions. Common application is accepted in across 47 states in the US, including the District of Columbia. Alongwith the US, the common application is also accepted in countries including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom, among others.

Colleges accepting Common application: Around 500 colleges and institutions accept the common application. 


Click here to get a list of all the member colleges and universities

How to apply for common application?

Aspirants have to first create an account with college application before applying to their respective colleges and universities.

Below are the steps that you can follow:

1. Upon registering, students are introduced to a dashboard, including common app, which requires information under categories like:

  • Profile:The profile tab requires candidates to fill up information that includes his/her name, address, citizenship details and so on.

  • Family: Here the applicant is required to fill in personal details regarding their parents, spouse and siblings.

  • Education:The academic details of the candidate need to be filled in here. Queries starting from the applicant’s schooling to graduation is required. Also, information regarding the applicant’s grade is also required.

  • Testing:Testing requires you to fill in all the details related to the tests you have taken which includes SAT, PTE, ACT, AP and TOEFL- both paper based and ibt.

  • Activities: Activities cover all the extra-curricular activities that you might want to inform the college about.

  • Writing: You are required to write a personal easy demonstrating your writing ability. The essay should be more than 250 words but less than 650 words and should reflect your personality and what you want to achieve or have achieved through your personal experiences.

2. In ‘My Colleges’ section, you can find and add the colleges you want to apply to. You will also have to complete work on each details fulfilling their individual criteria.

3. In ‘college search’, you can search for the colleges depending on the term, country and deadline of the colleges.


Universal College Application:

Accepted by 46 colleges in the USA, the Universal College Application was established in 2007 for use by any type of higher education institution in the USA or in branches of US universities. The platform has a database for all the 46 institutions along with their deadlines and accepted testing scores.

Colleges accepting Universal College Application:  As mentioned, Universal College Application is accepted by 46 institutions. Some of the colleges include Harvard College, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, Duke University, American University and Rice University, among others.

Click here to get a list of all the member colleges and universities

How to apply for Universal College Application?

The first step in applying through the Universal College Application is by opening an account with Universal College Application.

You can follow the steps mentioned below to apply:

  • Sign in to your account: You will be required to enter your name, date of birth and contact details to open the account and sign in.

  • Select the college: Click on 'Select Your Colleges'  tab or go to 'My Colleges'  to select the institute you want to apply to. You can add colleges to that list by clicking on the ‘Add’ button. While selecting a college you also have to select the term, program and decision plan applicable to your programme.

  • Application checklist: You can start the individual application procedure for each college. You are required to fill in the personalized application for each university here.In Application you need to fill the following categories:

    1. Application Information

    2. Family Information

    3. Academic Information, Standardized Tests

    4. Extracurricular activities & Work Experience

    5. Personal Statement

  • Supplements: This tab is for any additional supplement that the student might add. You need to add the degree programme you are interested in joining and re enter your standardized test scores.

  • Fee: You need to pay the application fee after your application form is filled up.


The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is a common application platform for undergraduate admissions to British universities.Although it is known for its undergraduate applications, UCAS also has other application facilities such as CUKAS, UTT (UCAS Teacher Training), UKPASS (UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service) and UCAS Progress.

Colleges accepting UCAS Application:  A majority of the universities in the UK accept admission through the UCAs application. Some of the best known universities are Oxford University, Cambridge, University College London, University of Southampton etc.

How to apply for UCAS?

You need to first register and log in to the UCAS site for applying to the university. Here are the steps to apply:

Register: The first step in applying through UCAS is to regiseter. Applicants can register by entering their personal details, including name, address, date of birth and as such. You can register through your school or as an individual.

Personal details: After you are registered, you are asked to fill up more personal details about yourself. Along with that you are also required to give details of your Unique Learner Number, TOEFL number and IELTS TRF number, whichever is applicable. You are also asked to enter details of your passport.


Choice:In this field, you are allowed to add the colleges you want to send your application to. Candidates are required to fill in their institute, course and campus code.

Education: In this tab, you are required to fill in details about your education background.


Employment: If you have worked before, you can enter your work details in this field.


Personal statement: The UCAS application requires all candidates to write a personal statement essay. The statement should be between 1000 to 4000 words.


Reference: This field requires you to fill in details about the referees. You need to fill in the name, organization and relationship with the referee.


Ontario Universities’ Application Centre

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre or OUAC is a common application platform applicable only for select universities in Ontario, Canada. The application portal facilitates application for mainly undergraduate courses. However, it even processes graduate and professional applications for some universities and courses.

Colleges accepting OUACApplication:  Around 21 colleges accept OUAC. They are:

•Algoma University •Brock University •Carleton University •University of Guelph •Lakehead University •Laurentian University •McMaster University •Nipissing University •OCAD University •University of Ottawa •Queen’s University •Ryerson University •University of Toronto •Trent University • University of Ontario Institute of Technology •University of Waterloo •Western University •Wilfrid Laurier University •University of Windsor •York University.

How to apply for OUAC?

Being an international student, you have to fill up form 105f which is applicable for international students. It is applicable to students who :

  • reside outside Canada

  • are not Canadian citizens

  • are not currently attending an Ontario high school day program (in Ontario or abroad).

You need to first create an account to apply through OUAC. Once you have created the account, you will be sent an email requesting you to select the application for the course you would be applying to. After you have selected the course, you will be directed to the said application and thereafter you can continue completing the application.


Universities Admissions Centre:

Applicable only in Australia, the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) is the admission gateway to undergraduate courses at many institutions in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory. UAC processes centralized applications, mainly undergraduate courses. However, some institutions also accept applications through UAC for postgraduate courses.

Colleges accepting UAC Application:  Around 24 institutions across the region accept applications through UAC. Some of them are Australian Maritime College, Australian National University, International College of Management in Sydney, La Trobe University, Macleay College, Macquarie University, among others.

How to apply for UAC?

You can apply online through UAC. The application window is open from 7.30 am to midnight Sydney time. You need to make sure of the following points:

  1. You have to apply as an International student if you are -
  • An Australian Year 12 in or outside Australia in 2014

  • an International Baccalaureate (IB)

  • a New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3.


However, if you are an international student completing a high school or university qualification outside Australia, you need to submit your application directly to ANU.


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