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Updates from The Common Application

on June 24, 2011 in Application Process, New This Month

I recently participated in an online forum, updating counselors on changes to The Common Application. The Common Application is an application offering first-year and transfer students one common form to submit to any of more than 400 institutions. The members include a full range of higher education institutions in the US: public and private, large and small, highly selective and modestly selective. For the first time, two international members have been added. Students will be able to register and begin the online process on August 1, 2011. A preview of the application is available here for those wanting to get a head start.

The following is a summary of the key updates provided by The Common Application:

  • More context is provided for a student’s language proficiency
  • The activities section includes space for 10 rather than 12 activities, and students will be able to re-order their activities after they have been input. This is particularly helpful, as students should list activities in order of importance.
  • The essay now has a maximum limit, suggesting that student essays be in the range of 250-500 words if cut and pasted into the online form. Essays uploaded to this section can be longer, however colleges have requested the upward limit for a reason.
  • A change has been made to the discipline question to better reflect the nature of common issues arising in the high school.
  • The recommendation section includes the option of one additional recommendation from someone else at the school who may know the student better than the counselor.



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