New Common App Members

Purdue University, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Oklahoma will start using the Common Application this August, according to an announcement today by Common Apps’ Board of Directors. These three universities are among 39 new members, bringing the total to 527. The new members include three public flagships, as well as five new international institutions and the first university from Hawaii -- Hawai'i Pacific. The full listing can be found here.

For many, the goal of adopting the Common App is to streamline the process for students. “The Common App greatly alleviates the pressure students may feel to customize application materials for multiple institutions, says Luke D. Schultheis, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management at Virginia Commonwealth. “It is puzzling and challenging enough for students to identify institutions where they would like to commit the next four years of their life and the admissions process should not add an additional and unnecessary burden to them. The Common App is a platform which allows the student and those writing recommendations to focus upon the student, not writing and submitting seemingly endless documents to multiple institutions.”

Pamela Horne, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions at Purdue, voiced similar sentiments, noting that more information will be an added bonus.  “Purdue has practiced holistic review for many years, but we are looking forward to the rich information about the student that the Common App will provide to our staff so that we can make even more effective decisions about the student as a good fit for Purdue,” she says. “We are especially looking forward to students' responses to the interesting new essay prompts and to have recommendations from more teachers and counselors.  And since we use the admissions application for merit scholarship consideration also, we are pleased that our selection committees will have even more meaningful information about students for those important decisions.”

Founded in 1975 by 15 private colleges to provide a common, standardized first-year application form for use at any member institution, the Common App today includes colleges and universities from 47 states plus the District of Columbia, 7 countries outside the US, and 7 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The next generation of the Common App – a digital makeover dubbed CA4 -- will launch on August  1, and in the lead-up to its unveiling, new essay prompts and word limits were recently announced.



More public universities are jumping on the Common Application bandwagon. It will be interesting to see whether this increases their number of college applicants.

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