The Ivy Coach Daily

May 23, 2024

What Is Common Application Account Rollover?

A round steeple of a building is featured at Columbia University.

Many of the most ambitious rising seniors cannot wait to dive into beginning their college applications as soon as possible. At Ivy Coach, we know that it is never too early to begin preparing for a process that only gets more competitive over time. But is there such a thing as starting a Common Application too early? The answer boils down to one variable: account rollover.

When Is the Common App Account Rollover Date?

“Every year on August 1, Common App. gets a refresh.” Common App. account rollover occurs on August 1st of each year. During this time, applications to colleges that use the Common App. are updated with new material for the current academic year. This includes all essay prompts and supplemental information.

In other words, any progress made on your Common App. prior to August 1st will be deleted, including any responses or writing supplements you were working on, any recommendation requests sent to teachers and counselors, and most of the remaining information in the My Colleges tab. According to Common App., the only things that are maintained through rollover are the following:

Account rollover is necessary because certain essay prompts and questions change each year. For example, if account rollover had not occurred this past year, many colleges would be in hot water for continuing to collect racial demographic data on applicants in spite of the recent Supreme Court ruling to end Affirmative Action (although many of these colleges still collect this data using more covert methods).

Common App Account Rollover FAQ

How does one initiate account rollover?

Students simply login to their accounts after August 1st with their current username and password and answer a few questions to initiate account rollover.

How does account rollover impact the application timeline?

Account rollover essentially means that any application planning done prior to August 1st of a student’s senior year should be done outside of the Common App. to avoid losing any progress. It’s not a bad idea to create your Common App. account, fill out your identifying information, and begin to browse potential colleges during the spring or summer before your senior year, but planning your responses to pre-rollover questions from the previous admissions cycle would quite simply be a waste of time. 

With that being said, as soon as August 1st rolls around, students should kick it into high gear! While the supplemental essays of some elite universities vary significantly each year, others more or less stay the same. Students should peruse the Common App. soon after August 1st to get a lay of the land for that admission cycle, including which questions are being asked, how the supplemental essays for each school are structured, and which deadlines are coming up the soonest. You got this!

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