AUSTIN (KXAN) — Whether you have an eighth grader or a senior in high school, being ready for college or the next step in your child’s life can make a huge difference. 

Today, Texas OnCourse will host a free webinar. The online resource was first created two years ago after Texas lawmakers passed a bill in 2015 aimed to help students better plan for success after high school.

The University of Texas developed the online resource and it’s available for everyone who needs some guidance. 

“College applications are hard,” said Michelle Snyder, a counselor at Crockett High School. “That’s the summary.”

She knows a thing or two about applying to college as she helps more than 300 students take that next step. 

“Every single college has a different application process, a different timeline, a different form that they need,” she said. “It’s not the pen and paper process it was when we were applying to school. There are multiple different software systems and technical glitches.”

Tuesday’s webinar will help students with what’s called the Common Application or the Common App, one of the main college application systems. To apply to some private schools in Texas — like Rice — you must use Common App. However, all UT System schools make use of the Apply Texas application.

“There are several deadlines that are right at Nov. 1 and Nov. 15, and we’ve been in school for two months by that point so it’s time,” said Snyder. “You have to hit the ground running senior year otherwise you’ll miss those deadlines.”

For Snyder, having Texas OnCourse by her side has made things easier on what sometimes can be a difficult road. 

“It’s confusing and scary because its this huge life decision you’re getting ready to make,” she said.

The webinar starts at 10 a.m. 

Applying to multiple schools at once

The Common App is not restricted to the Lone Star State. The work alongside domestic and international schools including:

  • More than 800 colleges and universities
  • More than 170 public institutions
  • 49 minority-serving institutions
  • 64 international institutions

When applying to college, the Common App allows students to fill out an application that can then be sent up to 20 colleges and universities at one time. 

In 2017, the Common App estimates the one-step, need-based fee waiver saved students more than $55 million in application fees.

In August, the Common App launched a transfer application to assist transfer and community college students in their college admission process, as well as active military members and veterans, online learners and adults returning to school to complete their degree.

So far, more than 600 colleges and university accept the news Common App transfer application.