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Common App for transfer Program Materials


The Program Materials section includes additional information and requirements for the programs you selected in the Add Program tab. Each program's requirements may vary, so it's important you review this section in detail.

Your selected programs appear on the left side of this page; click each program's name to begin your review. Note that depending on your program's requirements, you'll see one or more of the tabs outlined below.


The Home tab contains the Program Details provided by each program at the start of the application cycle. It includes deadlines, required offline forms, and other information specific to the program. Be sure to review this page carefully for any additional instructions, information, and/or requirements.


The Questions tab contains the questions specific to each program. Questions may be multiple-choice or open-ended text boxes. Some programs require additional essays. Contact each program directly if you have questions.

Select your answers for each question and then click Save. If copying a response into a text box, check for possible formatting changes. We suggest using simple formatting, as tabs, italics, multiple spaces, etc., will not be saved. To delineate paragraphs, type a double return between each paragraph.


The Documents tab is only available for certain programs. Uploaded documents will only be visible to that specific program. Documents that do not have a red asterisk are optional and do not need to be uploaded for you to submit your application.

Contact the program directly if you have any questions about their specific requirements.

If your program provides a PDF form to fill out and upload in this section, you must save and upload it as an image. Depending on your computer's operating system, there may be multiple ways to do this; a Google search can point you in the right direction.

Once your application is submitted, you cannot re-upload, update, or edit the documents in any way; however, you can upload new documents.

Offline Documents

Some colleges may need you to send additional forms outside of the Common App for transfer application. To determine if your college requires "offline forms," select a program in the Program Materials section and review their Program Details section. 

Colleges commonly ask for the following forms offline:

  • College Report: This report shares more information on your standing at your current college. A college official must complete this form. 
  • Mid-Term Report: This report includes information on your current courses. You can complete this reporting using details from your transcript or student information portal. 

Carefully review each program's instructions for how to complete and send these offline documents. Some programs may want you to send the completed forms by mail or by specific dates.

Common App Personal Essay

Students can select one of seven Common App prompts to guide their writing for the personal essay.

Some programs may ask for a personal essay in the Documents or Questions sections. If a program asks for a personal essay in the Documents section as a document upload, you do not need to specify the prompt you have selected. If a program asks for a personal essay within the Questions section, you will select a prompt and enter your response as text.

The 2023-2024 Common App Personal Essay prompts are:

The personal essay helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want admissions readers to know about you that is not reflected elsewhere in your application? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay using the prompt to inspire and structure your response (1,250 - 3,250 characters, approx. 250 - 650 words).

Please select a prompt below to help you write your personal essay:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Some things to consider as you write your personal essay:

  • What are your academic and career aspirations?
  • Are there personal experiences, obstacles you have overcome, or other aspects of your background that you want to share?
  • How have your life experiences since high school affected your educational goals? What have you learned about yourself?
  • What are your reasons for transferring or returning to college? Are you continuing your education after military service or time away from school, transitioning from a two-year college, or moving from one four-year college to another?
  • What problems do you want to research or solve with your intended major and degree?
  • What new opportunities are you hoping to explore, academic or otherwise?

Keep in mind that some programs may require additional essays. These can be in addition to, or in place of, the personal essay. Before you begin writing, review all of the writing requirements for each program you are applying to.


The Recommendations tab is only available for certain programs that require you to submit letters of recommendation.

Before You Begin

Recommendations (sometimes called Letters of Evaluation, Letters of Reference, or Letters of Recommendation) are submitted by the recommenders themselves; they cannot be completed or submitted by the applicant or another party on behalf of the recommender. We are not responsible for verifying recommenders' identities. If a discrepancy is found, we reserve the right to contact the appropriate individuals to investigate and to share the discrepancy with all programs.

Before getting started, consider the following:

  • All recommendations are submitted electronically by recommenders using Liaison Letters, our Recommender Portal. Common App for transfer will use your legal name for recommendations.
  • Research each program's requirements. You should determine whether your programs have specific requirements before listing recommenders on your application. Many programs have strict guidelines and submitted recommendations cannot be removed or replaced.
  • Prepare your recommenders. Once you choose your recommenders, let them know they will be completing the recommendation electronically. We recommend getting their preferred email address and asking that they monitor that inbox for your recommendation request (which will come from, including any junk or spam folders.

The Recommendation Process

When you request recommendations, your recommender receives an email request with a link to Liaison Letters. Recommenders review your requests, and then accept, complete, or deny them. Recommenders may complete assessments such as writing essays, completing Likert scales, and/or uploading letters.

Once your recommender completes your recommendation, you'll be notified via email. You can check the status of your recommendation requests in the Check Status tab of your application at any time.

Common App for transfer also saves your recommender information. After you add recommender information once, you can select those recommenders from your list and add them for other programs.

Submit a Request

  1. Navigate to the Program Materials section. On the Recommendations tab, click Add Recommendation.
  2. If you have requested recommenders before, choose a previous recommender from the list or select Request New Recommendation.
  3. Enter the recommender's full name and email address, if necessary.
  4. Select the date when you would like this recommendation completed. This date should be before your program(s) deadline.
  5. Enter a brief message or note for the recommender.
  6. Select whether you want to waive your right of access to the recommendation. See Waiver below.
  7. Click the checkboxes to indicate your permission for programs (and us) to contact your recommenders.
  8. Click Save This Recommendation Request to submit it. Once you do so, an email is immediately sent to the recommender.
  9. Confirm with your recommenders that they received the email notification.
  10. Use the Check Status tab to monitor the status of your recommendations. Completed recommendations are marked as "Complete" and have a Complete Date listed. Follow up with your recommenders if their recommendations are still marked as "Requested" or "Accepted." It is your responsibility to ensure that recommendation requests are received and completed on time. We will not notify applicants about missing recommendations.
Resend the Recommendation Request

If you need to resend a request:

  1. On the Recommendations tab, locate the request you wish to resend.
  2. Click the pencil icon to edit the request.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Resend This Recommendation Request.
Change the Recommender's Email Address

If you entered an incorrect email address for any recommenders (or if any recommender asks that you send the request to a different email address), you must delete these requests and then re-add them with the correct email.


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives you the right to access recommendations unless you choose to waive your right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting any recommendations, you are required to indicate whether you wish to waive your rights. Common App for transfer will release your decision to waive or not waive access to your recommenders and designated programs. Your waiver decision serves the same purpose as a legal signature and is binding.

Selecting Yes indicates to programs that your recommender completed their recommendation with the understanding that you would not be able to view it. This means you will not be able to see the content of the recommendation. Programs may view this type of recommendation as a more accurate representation of an applicant's qualifications.

Selecting No indicates to programs that your recommender completed their recommendation with the understanding that you may choose to view it in the future. Selecting this option does not allow you to view your recommendation via the application. If you do not waive your right to view the recommendation, you may ask your recommender for a copy of the recommendation. Programs may view this type of recommendation as a less accurate representation of an applicant's qualifications.

Once you make a selection, you can't change it, so consider the choices carefully.


The Prerequisites tab is only available for certain programs. In it, you can assign courses you took (or plan to take) to fulfill the program's required prerequisites. You must complete Transcript Entry and Transcript Review in order to complete this section. You should only add additional courses if necessary to reach the minimum credit requirement. Do not exceed the listed requirements by matching extra courses.

Note that assigning these courses does not necessarily mean you meet the program's prerequisite requirements; the program wants you to self-identify these courses for their review. Contact each program directly if you have questions about these prerequisites.

Assign a Prerequisite

  1. Click Assign Course.
  2. Click the plus sign next to the course(s) that you believe fulfills the prerequisite. You can match multiple courses to one prerequisite, if applicable. If you do not have a prerequisite course to add, click I Am Not Matching Any Courses to this Prerequisite.
  3. Click Save and Exit.


Some programs may request or require that you complete a SlideRoom application, which is separate from your Common App for transfer application. In SlideRoom, you can create and submit a custom portfolio for each program. The SlideRoom tab is only available for certain programs. Contact each program directly if you have questions.

To submit a SlideRoom application:

  1. Click Click here to start your SlideRoom portfolio.
  2. You will then be redirected to SlideRoom, where you can log in with an existing account or create a new account.

Once you complete the SlideRoom application, return to your Common App for transfer application to verify that the section is marked complete. If it's not, click Update.

Note: if your program's SlideRoom application is optional, you can choose not to submit one by clicking Opt out of SlideRoom portfolio.