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What to Know About The Common Black College Application

Last updated July 17, 2024

Want to apply to some great Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) without the expensive application fees? Use the Common Black College Application (CBCA)! Here’s everything you need to know about applying to college with the CBCA.

What is the Common Black College Application?

The Common Black College Application is an affordable college application that can be used to apply to multiple HBCUs across the country at once. Using this application is a great option for students who want to apply to HBCUs while cutting down on traditionally high college application costs.

How does it work?

The CBCA partners with 66 HBCUs in the U.S. to allow students to apply to them at an affordable cost. When completing the CBCA, you will be prompted to select the top four schools you're most interested in attending. Some schools will receive your application even if you don't include them in your top four, while others won't. If you didn’t select a school in your top four and want your application to be processed by them, be sure to contact them by phone or email to let them know you’re interested in being considered for admission. 

How much does it cost?

The application only costs a one-time fee of $20. If you are asked by a school that partners with the CBCA to complete another application or pay another application fee, be sure to contact them and let them know you applied using the CBCA. There should not be any additional fees.

Who is eligible to use this application?

All prospective and current college students can apply to HBCUs using the CBCA.

What do I need to apply?

Similar to The Common App, you must include these things on your application:

  • Personal information (name, address, Social Security number, etc.)
  • Official transcript*
  • Approximate cumulative high school GPA
  • Extracurricular activities you’ve participated in (sports, clubs, etc.)
  • Your intended major
  • Your list of top four HBCUs

*Your official transcript is needed to submit your application. When you apply, enter your counselor’s name and email address. They’ll receive an email to create an account, enter your application dashboard, and upload your transcript. When you apply, you will also need to enter your school’s CEEB code. Your counselor cannot upload your transcript without it. Not sure what your school’s CEEB code is? Find it here.

Most schools that partner with the CBCA don’t require letters of recommendation and essays, so you won’t need to submit either on your application. If you still want to send specific schools either of these materials, reach out to them directly to learn where and how to submit them.

How do I apply?

  1. Head to the CBCA website to begin.
  2. Click "Apply Now" at the top of the page.
  3. Enter the student application portal.
  4. Create your account.
  5. Select “Click here to get started.”
  6. Complete your application.
  7. Pay the $20 application fee.

How long does it take to hear back from colleges?

While your application is sent immediately to schools, their response timeline may vary. Be sure to check your CBCA dashboard and email often so you don’t miss any important updates.

Have any questions about the CBCA? Text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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