How The Common App Will Be Improved

Younger siblings who have seen their brothers and sisters throw up their arms in frustration at the Common Application will be relieved to know that they themselves will not have to face the same fate.  The Common Application, currently accepted by more than 450 colleges and universities, is scheduled for an overhaul starting in the summer of 2013.  If you are currently a sophomore in high school, then you will be using The Common App 4.0 when you are applying to colleges.  Existing in paper form for many years, it is only recently that the Common App has tried to "catch up" to technology, even as smartphone and tablet usage has skyrocketed.

According to a recent New York Times article, here are the changes to expect for the next version of the Common App:

  • Adaptive questioning: instead of seeing dozens of biographical questions, many of which might be irrelevant to a particular student, the App will only display a few questions at a time.  And subsequent questions to be shown are determined by your answers to previous questions.
  • A more robust Q&A forum
  • No more "truncation" issues.  What you type into the screen will be what admissions officers see.  Words will no longer be cut-off in the PDF files that are sent to admissions.
  • Form fields that allow for longer entries (longer word limits)
While the above may seem like minor changes, the more important issue is upgrading the entire system to accomodate more applications and more students.  Hopefully you won't be staring at a crashed website while you're rushing to hit "send" before the deadline. Our top tier private tutors can help you navigate the admissions process.