Common Application FAQs

Here are step-by-step instructions and links to resources to help answer the questions you have asked most frequently about the Common Application. If you are having technical difficulties with completing and submitting your Common Application, you should seek assistance directly from the Common Application at “Ask A Question”.

Does submission of the Common Application end with payment of your application fee?

Does Cornell Require a Writing Supplement?

How do I make the Writing Supplement appear?

Am I able to view a PDF of my Common Application and Writing Supplement?

What forms may I print and submit via mail?

How do I submit the required documentation for my fee waiver request?

Where are the help resources on the Common Application website?

How do I submit a musical recording to be considered with my application?

Does submission of the Common Application end with payment of your application fee?

No,the submission process is a three-step sequence. First, students review a copy of their application. Second, they pay the application fee (unless using a fee waiver). Finally, they sign the affirmation and complete submission. Some students are stopping this sequence after paying the application fee but before submitting the application. For this reason, it's always a good idea for students to check their Dashboard for confirmation of submission status.

Does Cornell Require a Writing Supplement?

Yes, Cornell requires a Writing Supplement. The first-year Writing Supplement essay questions and transfer Writing Supplement question are available for you to review.

How do I make the Writing Supplement appear?

To make the Writing Supplement appear on your Common Application you must select the college/school at Cornell you wish to apply to, as well as your intended major. For step-by-step instructions and a video please see below.
Steps to make the Cornell Writing Supplement appear on the Common Application:

  1. Log in to the Common Application
  2. Click the "My Colleges" tab
  3. Click "Questions" in the left navigation
  4. Click "Academics" to expand the academics section
  5. Select whether you are planning to utilize a Primary/Alternate admission option
  6. Select your Primary Choice College/School
  7. Select your anticipated major
  8. Click the "Continue" button
  9. Click "Questions" under the "Writing Supplement" section in the left navigation to view the Cornell Writing Supplement

The First-year Writing Supplement essay questions and Transfer Writing Supplement question are available for you to review.

Am I able to view a PDF of my Common Application and Writing Supplement?

You are able to review a PDF of all Common Application submissions, including the Cornell University Questions and Writing Supplement before submission.

Steps to review a PDF of your Common Application and Cornell University Questions and Writing Supplement:

  • Complete all required fields on the Common Application and the Cornell University Questions.
  • Click the "Start Submission" button on the "Submission - Common App" section of the Cornell University "My Colleges" tab.
  • Wait for the system to generate a PDF for your review.

The Common Application provides detailed instructions on the submission process.

What forms can I print and submit via mail?

The Common Application is only available online. However, there are select forms that you are able to print from your Common Application account and submit by mail.
First-year Printable Forms

  • School Report
  • Optional Report
  • Mid-Year Report
  • Final Report
  • Teacher Recommendation

Transfer Printable Forms

  • Registrar Report
  • Academic Report
  • Mid-Term Report (print only)
  • Final Report

How do I submit the required documentation for my fee waiver request?

First-year applicants: The Common Application will automatically send your fee waiver request to your high school counselor for confirmation. No additional documentation is needed after your counselor has approved your request. If your request is denied by your counselor, you will need to log into your Common Application account and pay the application fee.

Transfer applicants: Your fee waiver request will not be considered by Cornell until you submit the fee waiver request on the Common Application and send supporting documentation to Cornell University. Your fee waiver request will not be considered until you submit a letter from a transfer advisor, the financial aid office at your current college/university, or a representative of a social service/community agency stating that the fee would cause financial hardship. Should you have questions, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at transfer@cornell.edu.  

Where are the help resources on the Common Application website?

How do I submit a musical recording to be considered with my application?

College of Arts and Sciences and College of Human Ecology undergraduate applicants may supplement their applications with music recordings by following instructions at the following URL: http://music.cornell.edu/undergraduate/admissions/submit-recordings/.