Update on the Common Application

Recently, I participated in a Zoom meeting with Scott Anderson, the Senior Director of Outreach and Education at the Common Application, which launched almost 50 years ago. Here are the highlights of that meeting:

  • Current Common Application membership is 979 colleges and universities, 63 of whom are international.
  • Members hail from 19 countries outside the US. Around half or a little less are in the United Kingdom.
  • 91% of applicants are from the United States – The top volume of applicants live in New York (10.4%), California (8.9%), and Florida (6.1%.).
  • This year, 1.2 Million first year applicants submitted 7.5 million applications.
  • The average number of applications per applicant  last year was  5.62. (No numbers yet for this year.)
  • Application year of 2021-2022 – 5% of college and university members required test scores as compared to 2019-2020 in which 55% required scores.
  • The demographics of students who report scores differs. Those who report tend to be more affluent and less diverse.
  • There is a 20 application limit.
  • Application updates for next year (2022-2023):
    • New members as of March 25th include Florida International University, Texas A & M, Cleveland Institute of Art, The Citadel, and the University of Texas at Austin.
    • There will be a reordering as to how questions are asked , such as moving gender questions to the demographic section.
    • Gender identity is being updated: Adding MX and Other as options for counselor, parent, recommender, teacher, and advisor prefix options, as well as adding “legal” to the first/given name question label.
  • Account roll over: If a current junior creates an account now, when the system shuts down for a few days at the end of July and relaunches for the new application season on August 1, the student’s account will roll over. Certain areas in the application do not roll over, however – college specific questions because colleges can and do change these question from year to year; recommender invitations and the FERPA release.