This article is intended to give counselors an overview of the Common App linking process. We've also created a student article and video as well to share with students.

troubleshooting article can be found here.

Common App Linking in 6 steps!

In order for documents to be sent on a student’s behalf from Cialfo to colleges and universities that accept the Common App, a student’s Cialfo account must be linked to their Common App account. (Reminder: Common App sending through Cialfo is only available for those schools who have a CEEB code that they've shared that with Cialfo and notified us that they will be using Cialfo for Common App document sending.) 

The following steps must happen before Cialfo and Common App can be linked.

Step 1 - Set up

The student’s profile in Cialfo must have date of birth, phone number, and complete address that includes the address and country. US, Canada, and China addresses will also require a state to be included. This is updated in 2 ways:
     Option 1 - Counselors can edit student profiles with this information.
     Option 2 - Counselors can give students permission to edit their profile.

Step 2 - Students should go to the Recommendations section of their Cialfo account. 

Students who have created a Common App account can enter the email address they used for their Common App account and click Link Account.

Students who have not created a Common App account can either enter an email address they will use for Common App or leave it blank and then click Link Account.

Warning: Students must think carefully about what email address is being used to link CA & Cialfo. If a student has linked CA and Cialfo and completed the FERPA in the CA but see that the FERPA in Cialfo is showing that it's incomplete, it's likely that the student linked the wrong Common App account. Students can verify the account they've linked by checking in the recommenders section of Cialfo where they'll see the email address and the CAID of the account that has been linked to Cialfo. Go to our troubleshooting article on how to resolve this issue.

Step 3 - After clicking Link Account, a student will be taken to the Common App website.

Students who have created a Common App account will be asked to log in and then verify that they give permission for Cialfo to access Common App.

Students who have not created a Common App account will be prompted to create one. Notice there is a box for the student to click allowing Cialfo to access Common App. Students must click Agree.

Step 4 - Once a student has created and logged in to their Common App account, students should focus on completing the following sections within the Common App. These must be completed before linking will be active:

Personal Information - Student name and Date of Birth

Education- Students must enter their current or most recent secondary school. Once entered, the address and CEEB code for the school should be visible in this section. If they do not see their school's CEEB code, this will cause many issues later when trying to request recommendations and send documents.

My Colleges - Students must add at least one college to their My Colleges section of the Common App.

FERPA - In the My Colleges section, students select a school on their list, choose the Recommenders and FERPA section, and complete the FERPA.

Step 5 (almost there...) - Students should verify in their Common App account that the FERPA has been completed and see the following green check marks:

Note: Once linked, students will not be able to request recommendations from teachers or counselors at the student's school within Common App. Those recommendations must be completed within Cialfo.

Step 6 (final step) - Students should verify in their Cialfo account that the FERPA has been completed and that their Common App is linked. 

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