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More Colleges Join The Common Application

According to the Washington Post’s blog, “College Inc.”, by Daniel De Vise, Georgetown University is “the last holdout among traditional national universities in embracing a universal college application.” They have declined to join the ranks of The Common Application.

According to its website “The Common Application membership association was established in 1975 by 15 private colleges that wished to provide a common, standardized first-year application form for use at any member institution.” By July of this year, the Common App will count 463 member colleges and universities.

The University of Southern California has joined the Common App this year and Mr. De Vise wonders if USC will enjoy the “customary bump in applications”.  It appears as if colleges and universities– even very well known ones– experience an increase in applications when they join the Common App. In January,  The NY Times “The Choice” blog said, “One trend, though, does seem some obvious: the increase in applications reported by Columbia University (32 percent) and the University of Michigan (18 percent, as the Feb. 1 application deadline looms) would seem, at least in part, to be a function of those institutions’ choosing to accept the Common Application this year for the first time.” Later information from “The Choice ” indicates that the University of Michigan had an increase in applications of 20%.

When the University of Chicago joined the Common App they experienced a 9% increase in applications, according to the Chicago Maroon.

However, using the numbers from “The Choice” of April 4, 2011, the University of Chicago had a bigger bump this year than the year they joined the Common App.

I am sure that colleges and universities that join the Common App will see an increase in the number of applications they receive. However, in our current climate of college application frenzy, I am not sure how much we can attribute to simply joining The Common App versus all of the other factors that contribute to the rise in applications every year.

Janet Rosier