Updated: October 21, 2021

For students, finding the best college fit is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming process. Choosing a college or university that will help them achieve their academic and personal goals, as well as provide a diverse experience that exposes them to new challenges, is a journey in itself.

To help reveal to students all the incredible college options available to them, Common App redesigned the college search functionality as a part of its enhanced website, launched last August.

One of the website's signature improvements was the enhanced college search functionality and brand new member profile pages . To help you support students on their journey to college, we’ve put together a quick tour of how these pages can enhance their college planning experience.

Let’s take a look.

College search

Common App’s updated college search allows students to use filters to display colleges and universities that meet their unique needs.


Students will be able to easily find schools in particular regions, as well as institutions that do not charge an application fee or are test optional/flexible.

Explore colleges profile pages

Explore colleges profile pages allow members to put their unique attributes on display for prospective students, helping them better understand the qualities that best match their academic and personal interests.

Students will learn about the academic programs and student experiences offerings at each institution, in addition to virtual tours, image galleries, application requirements, and more.

Virtual tours

College tours present the best opportunity for students to get a true sense of a college's campus and environment. However, many students sometimes find themselves unable to visit.

From residence halls to academic buildings, students can now access virtual tours directly on Common App's member profile pages.


Academic Programs and student experience

Students want a diverse experience when they arrive on campus, and they can learn about the multitude of academic programs available to them on each school’s Explore Colleges profile.


Outside of academics, the Student Experience section of each profile can help them get a sense of how they can get involved in campus life and enhance their college experience. Intramural club sports, ROTC programs, greek life, and internship opportunities are some of the many activities students can discover.


Students can also find colleges with similar qualities by clicking on the green pill buttons above the virtual tour.


Application requirements

Your student might be ready to apply, but it's important for them to understand what information they'll be expected to submit.


Explore colleges profile pages include robust information about what applicants can expect to provide when applying to avoid surprises and last-minute scrabbling for documentation. This section often includes additional information colleges and universities want applicants to know, including regional events, college fairs on the schedule, and financial aid information.

Add to My Colleges/Add to My Programs

Deciding where to apply is a huge, important step for any student! If your student finds a college or university to which they want to apply, they can easily add that school to their My Colleges list with one click, using the Apply for first-year or Apply for transfer button.


Common App recently launched Common Transfer Guarantee, a pilot program designed to help connect community college students with 4-year colleges and universities. Now, students can find participating Common App colleges and universities by using a new filter in the Explore Colleges tool. 


Additional Information and Visit Us

Don’t forget to check out the Additional Information and Visit Us sections of the profile, which includes some hidden gems about campus life, how to connect with admissions officers, visits, and more.