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What to Know About The Common Black College Application

Last updated January 31, 2023

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 - all 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 67 HBCUs in the U.S. to allow students to apply to them at an affordable cost. When completing your CBCA, you will be prompted to select the top 4 schools you’d most like to attend. Even if you don’t include a school in your top 4, your application will still be made available to most of them. There are some schools that will not process your application if you do not select them as one of your top 4 choices. If you didn’t select a school in your top 4 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 attending. 

How much does it cost?

The application only costs a one-time fee of $20. If you are asked by a member school 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 you need to pay after you pay the $20 fee.

Who is eligible to use this application?

All high school students applying to college and college students who want to transfer schools can use 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 Transcripts*
  • Approximate cumulative high school GPA
  • Extracurricular activities you’ve participated in (sports, clubs, etc.)
  • Your intended major
  • Your list of top 4 HBCUs

*Your official transcripts are 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 transcripts. Scores on tests such as the SAT and ACT, while not required on the application, can also be submitted by your counselor. When you apply, you will also need to enter your school’s CEEB code. Your counselor cannot upload your transcripts without it. Not sure what your school’s CEEB code is? Find it here.

Most member schools 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's 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, it may vary when you’ll hear back from each one. Be sure to check your CBCA dashboard and email often so you don’t miss any important updates.

Need some help with your college applications? We have helpful college preparation resources- from essays and applications to the FAFSA and scholarships, we’re here to help. Want to learn more about HBCUs? Click here, or text #Hello to 33-55-77!

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