The Common Application

The Common Application continues to be on a roll! Students are increasingly using the Common Application to apply to colleges and universities large and small. The CA allows a single application to be used to apply to public and private Common Application Member colleges and universities across the United States. Each year the number of colleges and universities accepting the CA has increased. Currently, 488 of the approximately 2,500 4-year colleges and universities in the United States use the CA. To date 159 accept ONLY the CA (Stanford, University of Michigan, Yale, Tufts, Oberlin). Schools using the CA agree to a holistic approach in reaching an admissions decision, considering recommendations as well as test scores and grades.

2,303,746 Common Applications were submitted this year (an increase of 10% over last year).

At Rivermont, all 11th Grade students participate in a Common Application workshop in the spring in anticipation of using the CA in the fall of their 12thGrade year. The workshop will be particularly important this year since the CA is in revision. The new CA4 will be available August 1, 2013 for the Class of 2014.

The CA reports that in the busiest period of college applications (December 30 through January 1) they received:

  • 922,827 applications, supplements, and school form submissions (at a rate of 3.6 per second)
  • 347,316 applications (15% of their volume to date)
  • 13.6 form submissions per second in the last 10 minutes of January 1
  • 17.4 form submissions per second in the last minute of January 1

“Throughout all this, the average response time for support tickets remained under 10 minutes. Students may use one application to apply to up to 20 schools. The average number of applications submitted per applicant has remained steady at 4.1."


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