Here is a step by step guide for students on how to link Common App with Cialfo.

WARNING: Think carefully about the email address you are using to link Cialfo with Common App.

Read through these directions and watch the video at the bottom that walks through this process.

Step 1 - Log in to Cialfo

Log in to Cialfo and go to Recommendations on the left. 

Note: If you cannot see the "Link Account" button, please reach out to your counselor to have this enabled for you. This may mean that you had linked your account previously and would need to be enabled to link again for this year's application cycle.

Step 2 - Personal Information Updated?

If you don't see a red message that your personal information needs to be updated, move to Step 3.

If you do see a red message that your personal information needs to be updated, it is because your 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 - Your counselors can edit your profile with this information.
     Option 2 - Your counselors have given you permission to edit your profile.

Once personal information is updated, go back to Recommendations.

Step 3 - Email Address

Warning: Pay close attention to these directions for depending on whether or not a Common App account has already been created.

Students who have created a Common App account can enter the email address they used for their Common App account after they have clicked "Link Account" on Cialfo.

Students who have not created a Common App account will be redirected to create one on Common App after they have clicked "Link Account" on Cialfo.

Warning: Be sure to think carefully about what email address is being used to link CA & Cialfo. If you've 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 you've linked the wrong Common App account. You can verify the account you've linked by checking in the recommenders section of Cialfo where you'll see the email address and the CAID of the account that has been linked to Cialfo. See our article here on troubleshooting.

Step 4 - After clicking Link Account, a student will be taken to the Common App website.

If you have already created a Common App account, you will be asked to log in and then verify that you give permission for Cialfo to access Common App. You must click "Agree" and "Connect" in order to link.

If you have not created a Common App account, you will be prompted to create one. After creating one, you must click "Agree" and "Connect" in order to link.

Step 5 - Once logged into Common App, focus on completing the following sections of your application in order to link with Cialfo. These must be completed before linking will be active:

Personal Information - Student name and Date of Birth

Education- Enter your current or most recent secondary school. Once entered, the address and CEEB code for the school should be visible in this section. You must see the CEEB code in this section in order for this process to work correctly.

My Colleges - Add at least one college to your My Colleges section of the Common App.

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

Step 6 (almost there...) - Verify in your Common App account that the FERPA has been completed and see the following green check marks:

Note: Once linked, you will not be able to request recommendations from teachers or counselors from your school within Common App. Those recommendations must be completed within Cialfo.

Step 7 (final step) - Go back to your Cialfo account and verify that the FERPA has been completed and that their Common App is linked. 


Have you linked the wrong or a second Common App account to Cialfo?

This issue will need to be resolved before your school can submit documents.

The solution:  Continue using the Common App account that is linked in Cialfo and submit applications using that account. If for some reason you cannot use the Common App account linked in Cialfo AND your counselor has not sent documents through Cialfo, you should contact Cialfo (Chat with Cialfo) to see if unlinking your Common App account in Cialfo is possible. You will need to provide the following information:

  1. School
  2. Student Full Name
  3. CA ID Linked in Cialfo
  4. CA Email linked in Cialfo

The above process will take some time. 

If you choose to use a different Common App account than what is linked in Cialfo, your school will need to send documents to your colleges and universities via mail or email.

Instructional Video for Account Linking

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