So you hurried an application to meet an early deadline. And maybe you forgot to print out a preview of the entire document.
Now you see a couple of embarrassing mistakes you’d like corrected or some “enhancements” you’d like added to the information you provided in the first round.
Then again, maybe you want to customize your application to conform to different Score Choice requirements. Or perhaps you really wanted to “tailor” an essay to one specific college, and you don’t want to send that same essay to other schools on your list.
While you can’t retrieve an electronic application that’s already been submitted, you can make content changes for future submissions. Basic data (test scores, extracurricular activities/work experience, honors, etc.) and essays may be edited or changed on both the Common Application and the Universal College Application forms.
And it’s really not too hard.
The Common Application (CA)
Although the Common Application is “philosophically” opposed to the creation of multiple forms, there is a process by which you may make an alternate version of your application. Step-by-step directions are provided in the “Instructions” section under “Application Versions.”
Essentially, you must submit the CA to at least one institution first. You cannot create an alternate version before this has been done.
Next, you log out of the original application and go to a special URL where you will login using your existing user name and password.
After login, you will go to the “Common Application” page, which will contain information you’ve already submitted. The ability to create an alternative version is now “activated,” and you should click on the “Replicate” link to make an alternate version of your submitted application.
All data from your original version of the Common Application will be transferred to the alternate version with the exception of any documents you uploaded. You may edit information beyond the basics provided in registration, but don’t forget to upload documents dropped from the earlier version.
After you have created your first alternate application, additional versions can be made by going to the “Common Application” section of your original application and using the “Replicate” link. You may make up to 10 versions, including the original.
Note that you will have a separate “My Colleges” page for each application version, and institutions may only appear on one version. They may be moved from one version to a different version at any time prior to submitting by selecting the college on the page and clicking on the “Move College” button. Note that you can have a total of 20 institutions listed across all versions.
The Universal College Application (UCA)
The Universal College Application has no particular objection to the creation of multiple versions of their application. In fact, the makers of the UCA subscribe to the Burger King philosophy and want you to “Have It Your Way®.” As a result, the process is relatively easy and straightforward.
Unlike the Common App, you do not have to submit an application to get the process rolling. And you can manage multiple copies of the UCA from the very beginning.
In addition, there is no need to go to a separate URL to create an alternate version. Best of all, the UCA does not restrict the number of versions an applicant can make—you can have as many versions of the application as you have schools listed with the UCA.
For each school you add to your list of My Colleges, you are given three options:
- Start a new copy of your application from scratch [START NEW]
- Send any application version you’ve already completed to the new school [USE EXISTING]
- Start a new version using an existing application as a base [START AS COPY]
Each option is clearly displayed as part of the Checklist page and only the ones that are relevant to your particular situation appear. If you use an existing application as a base, you can edit everything except the most basic identifying information and that becomes a new version which you will label accordingly.
If you’re applying to five schools, you can manage five different versions of the application simultaneously. Just keep in mind that a college can only be assigned one version of the application.
It’s as simple as that!
Although the two application providers differ in philosophy, both recognize that there are times when a revision may be necessary. The UCA, however, believes in “customization” and encourages users to take advantage of the ability to make separate forms for this purpose. The Common Application does not.
If you have any questions or need additional information, feel free contact the respective support teams for either the Common Application or the Universal College Application. They stand ready to assist.