The New Common Application

In 1975, the idea of collaborating on a single application for multiple colleges came to life when the Common Application was established. I can’t imagine that those who made that decision would envision that fifteen colleges would grow to 517 member colleges and universities, and that there would be no paper application to complete. This new version of the Common Application has revolutionized the means that students can use to apply to more than 500 colleges. However, one principle remains…students should be treated fairly and information reviewed holistically in making an admissions decision. The mission of the Common Application fits well with the values that UVM upholds when reviewing a student’s application for admission.

So what’s changed? First, the logic used to complete the application. Applicable questions appear for students depending on how a question is answered. Because of this logic, I believe that a student will feel like completing the application is simple. Second, the essay topics have changed. Each year, new prompts will be presented so students will need to review the current questions before writing the essays. Some schools will also have additional questions in their member pages. UVM does not have any additional essay questions. Third, gone are individual school supplements. School-specific questions are not gone, but they are incorporated into the body of the Common App, once a student add the school to “MyColleges” list.

This month, member colleges and universities will begin to receive the applications. Currently, while we are able to see who has submitted an application, it will be a few more weeks before we actually receive the applications. It is our plan to begin our application review in October and begin sending out admissions decisions in mid-October.

The new Common Application also allows students to indicate if they have an application fee waiver. As a reminder, there is no application fee for students applying early action for the November 1 deadline. Students can choose UVM application fee waiver in the general section of the University of Vermont questions of the Common Application.

We are excited to see this year unfold with this new application. I believe it will be an improved experience for students and hopefully simplify this part of the process. We are committed to assist students, parents and counselors as we work through this together.