Rising high school seniors who want to get a jump on their college applications should know that the Common Application used by more than 450 colleges and universities has just gone live for the 2012-13 admissions season, the Washington Post reports. That means students can start to officially fill out their applications, getting the tedious work of filling out names and dates and other details done so they can work on their essays. For the record, the Common App was launched on Tuesday night, four hours ahead of schedule, and within 30 minutes, 300 individuals had registered an account, the Web site reported. “The first registration came from Plano, TX, less than one minute after the site went live,” it said. The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that provides an admission application — online and in print — that students may submit to any of the member schools that accept it. The Common Application was developed in 1975 as a way to cut down on the number of separate applications and essays a student applying to numerous colleges and universities would have to complete. As it turns out, even with the Common App, many schools ask for additional information, including extra essays…

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staff and wire services reports