The World of Common App

Common App is a non-profit organization that provides a college application platform for students to apply to over 800 member colleges and universities across the world. The platform streamlines the college application process by allowing students to complete and submit a single application, which can then be sent to multiple colleges. It is a commonly used platform for college applications.


With the common app becoming so popular and easy to use, colleges have seen a major increase in applicants- meaning kids who never considered schools because of the difficulty to apply, let alone the difficulty to get in, now consider these schools. While Common App has many benefits and has made the college application process easier for many students, there are some potential drawbacks. Along with the common app taking over, the test-optional policies have made admission unpredictable and uncertain for many students. After speaking with numerous college counselors about this matter, they all relayed the same message- the process has gotten easier because of things like the common app and test-optional policies, but university admissions have gotten harder. So, why is it that something meant to make it easier to apply and get into schools has made it harder to achieve your dreams of attending top universities?


Well, The University of Texas at Austin, recently opened up applications on the common app for the first time in its history. The opening of the common app caused havoc. It created uncertainty in the process, elongating decision timelines and, from personal experience, caused hours upon hours of scrolling through college confidential and Reddit in hopes that I would find some information that would indicate my acceptance or denial. 


For students not as lucky as me, who found out they were deferred or rejected from their dream university, they see this process as one that failed them. Four years of hard work, just for the common app to make it easier for kids who are overqualified and, in some cases, qualified to take their admissions into their dream college. 


“After getting accepted into my dream school, UT Austin, I can’t say I feel the same way. However, I understand why and how the common app, meant to make applying to colleges easier and higher acceptance rates, does the exact opposite of what it intended to do. “