The “Not-So-Common” Common App
By Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute/EPI International
For students who are planning on going to college or university, a major complaint is the complexity of the application process. Beyond being academically prepared, going to college requires that several steps be taken in order to be considered for acceptance. This, of course, gets more complicated if you want to apply to several colleges. Even more complicated if these colleges are in different states or are private institutions.
Back in the mid-1970s, the Common Application was created by 15 institutions to try and simplify the admissions process. The logic is simple: why not have just one application that can be directed at a particular institution (or institutions) so that students (and parents) have but one form to submit.
Today, with our computer and web-based electronics, this should even be simpler. In fact, over 400 colleges, including Yale and Princeton, subscribe to “The Common App” (www.commonapp.org). This seems wonderful enough, but there are two significant issues.