UPDATE: The common application is now active.
The Common Application, used by 414 colleges for their applications, has announced that the 2010-2011 application will not be available until August 1. This is a month later than the traditional July 1 release.
In the meantime there is a preview copy of the Common Application that students can review to understand what information they will need to complete the application. The preview Common Application also allows students to review the essay prompts for the critical personal essay prompt.
I generally advise students to begin working on their personal essay during the summer when they have more time. This is particularly important for those students that are applying to colleges that have their own required supplemental essays.
Looking for something to do this summer? Check out the preview Common Application.