CROSSFIRE: Common App, Common Sense


It is late October and I am stressed out of my mind. Applications, essays, recommendations, College Board, FAFSA, it’s a lot. However the shining light through all of this is the Common Application. Only two things founded in 1975 have remained relevant to modern day, Saturday Night Live, and the glorious website that is 

Common App is universally renowned nonprofit college application organization that includes over 800 universities, including all 8 Ivy League schools and over 50 international schools in 18 countries. Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Newcastle, Columbia, NC State, and UNC are just a few of the renowned universities listed for application. It is more than likely that if someone names a college, it will be on the Common App. For students that are applying to multiple colleges like myself, instead of having fourteen thousand tabs open on my computer for each of the various college websites, I can keep everything organized on a single webpage. No memorizing multiple 15 digit alphanumeric passwords, just one password and one website for your applications. Regardless of how many universities someone is applying to, the Common App form only needs to be filled out once. No tedious paperwork and having to mind-numbingly list all your extracurriculars and grades to every single college. This is beneficial because in the few months students have to complete college applications, every minute counts. Alternatives such as the Coalition App and or Universal App do not have the same status and reach as the Common App, with the Coalition only including 140 universities and Universal with only a measly 18 colleges.

Not only is the Common App beneficial to students, but to teachers and administrators as well. Our poor teachers, writing dozens upon dozens of college recommendations, can finally catch a break with the easy rec letter submission process. Teachers will spend less time trying to figure out how to submit your letter and more time crafting the amazing letter that will get you into college.

It’s understandable why students dislike Common App, truly. It’s yet another thing to stress about on top of school, work, and personal life. The amount of time seniors dedicate to college applications essentially makes it a part time job, but without the reward of a paycheck. Compared to the alternatives of the Coalition and Universal applications, Common App is an aspiring undergrad’s best bet. Rarely, and I mean rarely, has anything related to school been as easy, intuitive, and user-friendly as that blessed website,