How to use the Common App Additional Information section

October 19, 2022

“What should be included in the additional information section of a college application?”

Over 3 million students submitted applications to 900 colleges and universities worldwide using the Common App. For the most part, students have a clear picture of what goes where. But there’s one very important section that continues to challenge teenagers: the additional information. 

High schoolers struggle with this section because it’s a vague category with vague instructions.

Students have the option of providing additional information under the Additional Information Section of the Common App. This section is optional and allows students to provide us with any additional information they feel is relevant to their application during the review process.

-Common App website

No matter what application forms or apps you use, the admissions department at every school is trying to determine if you are a good fit. They’re getting frustrated by thousands of applicants who include generic essays that regurgitate marketing material from college websites. As we’ve said many times, “Who are you?” is the question they want answered

"supplemental information" is the section that got me into my dream school

Think of supplemental information on a college application as “the section that gets me into my dream school.” 

Here’s the best part: begin the Additional Information section with your spikeview link. One click, and the admissions officers get your full story! And since it’s just one link, you have the opportunity to make a terrific first impression that sets you apart from other candidates.

Now, you want to make sure the text you include directly in your application is consistent with all the great details showcased in your spikeview. 

Here are three tips when adding supplemental information in any college application.

"Who are you?" is the question every school wants answered

1. Why us? 

Some applications flat out ask you to describe why you’re a great fit for the school. Don’t just talk about the school – they know about themselves. Demonstrate you fit. Maybe that’s a few particular courses they offer, the reputation of a few professors in your chosen field, or unique research opportunities. 

Connect what excites you about the school back to you and your interests. If you’re applying to arts or sports programs, make sure your portfolios are complete. 

2. Community Service

All 3 million students using the Common App will have some blurb about a community service project. What makes your response different? Connect your story to your personal interests and future goals! 

This is yet another way of demonstrating what makes you a great fit. Colleges want to know what motivates you, not just where you volunteered last summer. They’ll love seeing how you connect the dots of life in your application.

3. Extracurricular Activities

Before you write about extracurricular activities, go to your spikeview and make sure you have at least 7-10 experiences in your profile. These can be things like designing a t-shirt, mowing lawns in the neighborhood, uploading your first song to the internet, the odd jobs you do around the house to help out, your creative work on TikTok, the clubs you’re part of at school, or that business you started as a side hustle during lockdowns.

Now choose two of your experiences and write about them in a way that shows your motivations, your interests, and the link to the university you’re hoping to attend. 

You’ve got this!

Good luck with the application process! If you haven’t already created a spikeview to send to colleges, start here.


on How to use the Common App Additional Information section.
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    […] thyself. A lesser-known maxim but vital to your success! Include your spikeview link in the Additional Information section of the Common App, or as supplemental information in other […]