The Common Application

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The Common Application membership association was established in 1975 by 15 private colleges that sought to provide a common, standardized first-year application form for use by any member institution. The Common Application is a not-for-profit membership organization that has committed itself to providing “reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process.” The organization states its overall mission is “To serve students, member institutions, and secondary schools by providing applications—online and in print—that students and school officials may submit to any of our nearly 350 members. [The Common Application] promotes access by evaluating students using a holistic selection process.”

The Common Application is now a standard entry application used by colleges (both public and private) across the U.S. The number of colleges and universities using the Common Application now numbers over 300, and that number represents the full range of higher educational institutions. You can find the Common Application at the following web address: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/default.aspx

 

Common Application Member Institutions

The 414 Common Application members are located in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia.  A complete alphabetical listing of colleges and universities that have chosen to use the Common Application as a means of promoting holistic entrance applications:

1. Adelphi University
2. Agnes Scott College
3. Alaska Pacific University
4. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
5. Albion College
6. Albright College
7. Alfred University
8. Allegheny College
9. American University
10. The American University of Rome
11. Amherst College
12. Arcadia University
13. Assumption College
14. Augsburg College
15. Augustana College - Illinois
16. Augustana College - South Dakota
17. Austin College
18. Babson College
19. Baldwin-Wallace College
20. Bard College
21. Barnard College
22. Bates College
23. Belmont University
24. Beloit College
25. Bennington College
26. Bentley University
27. Berry College
28. Birmingham-Southern College
29. Boston College
30. Boston University
31. Bowdoin College
32. Bradley University
33. Brandeis University
34. Brown University
35. Bryant University
36. Bryn Mawr College
37. Bucknell University
38. Burlington College
39. Butler University
40. California Inst of Technology (Caltech)
41. California Lutheran University
42. Canisius College
43. Carleton College
44. Carnegie Mellon University
45. Carroll College (Montana)
46. Case Western Reserve University
47. The Catholic University of America
48. Cazenovia College
49. Cedar Crest College
50. Centenary College of Louisiana
51. Centre College
52. Champlain College
53. Chapman University
54. Chatham University
55. Claremont McKenna College
56. Clark University
57. Clarkson University
58. Coe College
59. Colby College
60. Colby-Sawyer College
61. Colgate University
62. The College of Idaho
63. College of Mount Saint Vincent
64. The College of New Jersey
65. College of New Rochelle
66. College of Notre Dame of Maryland
67. College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University
68. College of the Atlantic
69. College of the Holy Cross
70. College of William & Mary
71. College of Wooster
72. Colorado College
73. Colorado State University
74. Columbia College Chicago
75. Columbia University
76. Concordia College - New York
77. Concordia University
78. Connecticut College
79. Converse College
80. Cornell College
81. Cornell University
82. Creighton University
83. Curry College
84. Daemen College
85. Dartmouth College
86. Davidson College
87. Denison University
88. DePaul University
89. DePauw University
90. Dickinson College
91. Dominican University of California
92. Dowling College
93. Drake University
94. Drew University
95. Drexel University
96. Duke University
97. Earlham College
98. Eckerd College
99. Elizabethtown College
100. Elmira College
101. Emerson College
102. Emmanuel College
103. Emory University
104. Erskine College
105. Eugene Lang College - The New School
106. Fairfield University
107. Fisk University
108. Florida Institute of Technology
109. Florida Southern College
110. Fontbonne University
111. Fordham University
112. Franklin & Marshall College
113. Franklin Pierce University
114. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
115. Furman University
116. Gannon University
117. George Fox University
118. The George Washington University
119. Gettysburg College
120. Gonzaga University
121. Goucher College
122. Green Mountain College
123. Grinnell College
124. Guilford College
125. Gustavus Adolphus College
126. Hamilton College
127. Hamline University
128. Hampden-Sydney College
129. Hampshire College
130. Hanover College
131. Hartwick College
132. Harvard College
133. Harvey Mudd College
134. Haverford College
135. Hendrix College
136. Hillsdale College
137. Hiram College
138. Hobart & William Smith Colleges
139. Hofstra University
140. Hollins University
141. Hood College
142. Hope College
143. Husson University
144. Illinois College
145. Illinois Institute of Technology
146. Illinois Wesleyan University
147. Immaculata University
148. Iona College
149. Ithaca College
150. Jacobs University Bremen
151. John Carroll University
152. Johns Hopkins University
153. Johnson State College
154. Juniata College
155. Kalamazoo College
156. Keene State College
157. Kenyon College
158. Keystone College
159. King's College
160. Knox College
161. La Salle University
162. Lafayette College
163. Lake Erie College
164. Lake Forest College
165. Lasell College
166. Lawrence Technological University
167. Lawrence University
168. Lehigh University
169. LeMoyne College
170. Lesley College
171. Lewis & Clark College
172. Linfield College
173. List College, The Jewish Theological Seminary
174. Long Island University - C.W. Post Campus
175. Loyola Marymount University
176. Loyola University Maryland
177. Loyola University New Orleans
178. Luther College
179. Lycoming College
180. Lynn University
181. Macalester College
182. Manhattan College
183. Manhattanville College
184. Marietta College
185. Marist College
186. Marlboro College
187. Marquette University
188. Marymount Manhattan College
189. Maryville University of St. Louis
190. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
191. McDaniel College
192. Menlo College
193. Mercyhurst College
194. Meredith College
195. Merrimack College
196. Miami University (Ohio)
197. Middlebury College
198. Mills College
199. Millsaps College
200. Moravian College
201. Morehouse College
202. Mount Holyoke College
203. Mount Saint Mary College (NY)
204. Mount St. Mary's College (CA)
205. Muhlenberg College
206. Naropa University
207. Nazareth College
208. New College of Florida
209. New England College
210. New York Institute of Technology
211. New York University
212. Newbury College
213. Niagara University
214. Nichols College
215. Northeastern University
216. Northland College
217. Northwestern University
218. Notre Dame de Namur University
219. Oberlin College
220. Occidental College
221. Oglethorpe University
222. Ohio Northern University
223. Ohio Wesleyan University
224. Oklahoma City University
225. Otterbein University
226. Pace University
227. Pacific Lutheran University
228. Pacific University
229. Pepperdine University
230. Philadelphia University
231. Pitzer College
232. Plymouth State University
233. Polytechnic Institute of New York University
234. Pomona College
235. Presbyterian College
236. Prescott College
237. Princeton University
238. Providence College
239. Quinnipiac University
240. Randolph College
241. Randolph-Macon College
242. Reed College
243. Regis College
244. Regis University
245. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
246. Rhodes College
247. Rice University
248. Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
249. Rider University
250. Ringling College of Art & Design
251. Ripon College
252. Rochester Institute of Technology
253. Roger Williams University
254. Rollins College
255. Rosemont College
256. Russell Sage College
257. Sacred Heart University
258. Sage College of Albany
259. Saint Anselm College
260. St. Bonaventure University
261. St. Catherine University
262. St. Edward's University
263. Saint Francis University
264. St. John Fisher College
265. St. John's College (Maryland)
266. St. John's College (New Mexico)
267. Saint Joseph’s College
268. Saint Joseph’s University
269. St. Lawrence University
270. Saint Louis University
271. Saint Mary’s College of California
272. Saint Mary’s College (IN)
273. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
274. Saint Michael’s College
275. St. Norbert College
276. St. Olaf College
277. Saint Peter’s College
278. St. Thomas Aquinas College
279. Saint Vincent College
280. Salem College
281. Salve Regina University
282. Santa Clara University
283. Sarah Lawrence College
284. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
285. Scripps College
286. Seattle Pacific University
287. Seattle University
288. Seton Hall University
289. Sewanee: The University of the South
290. Siena College
291. Simmons College
292. Skidmore College
293. Smith College
294. Southern Methodist University
295. Southern New Hampshire University
296. Southwestern University
297. Spelman College
298. Spring Hill College
299. Stanford University
300. (SUNY) Binghamton University
301. (SUNY) Buffalo State College
302. (SUNY) College at Brockport
303. (SUNY) College at Geneseo
304. (SUNY) College of Environmental Science & Forestry
305. (SUNY) Cortland
306. (SUNY) Fredonia
307. (SUNY) Maritime College
308. (SUNY) Morrisville State College
309. (SUNY) New Paltz
310. (SUNY) Oneonta
311. (SUNY) Oswego
312. (SUNY) Plattsburgh
313. (SUNY) Potsdam
314. (SUNY) Purchase College
315. (SUNY) Stony Brook University
316. (SUNY) University at Albany
317. (SUNY) University at Buffalo
318. Stephens College
319. Stetson University
320. Stevens Institute of Technology
321. Stevenson University
322. Stonehill College
323. Suffolk University
324. Susquehanna University
325. Swarthmore College
326. Sweet Briar College
327. Syracuse University
328. Texas Christian University
329. Thiel College
330. Thomas College
331. Transylvania University
332. Trinity College
333. Trinity University
334. Tufts University
335. Union College
336. University of Chicago
337. University of Connecticut
338. University of Dallas
339. University of Dayton
340. University of Delaware
341. University of Denver
342. University of Findlay
343. University of Great Falls
344. University of LaVerne
345. University of Maine
346. University of Maine at Farmington
347. University of Maine at Machias
348. University of Mary Washington
349. University of Maryland Baltimore County
350. University of Massachusetts Amherst
351. University of Massachusetts Boston
352. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
353. University of Massachusetts Lowell
354. University of Miami
355. University of Michigan
356. University of New England
357. University of New Hampshire
358. University of New Haven
359. University of North Carolina Asheville
360. University of Notre Dame
361. University of Pennsylvania
362. University of Portland
363. University of Puget Sound
364. University of Redlands
365. University of Rhode Island
366. University of Richmond
367. University of Rochester
368. University of San Diego
369. University of San Francisco
370. University of Scranton
371. University of Southern Maine
372. University of Tampa
373. University of the Pacific
374. University of Tulsa
375. University of Vermont
376. University of Virginia
377. Ursinus College
378. Utica College
379. Valparaiso University
380. Vanderbilt University
381. Vassar College
382. Villanova University
383. Virginia Wesleyan College
384. Wabash College
385. Wagner College
386. Wake Forest University
387. Washington & Jefferson College
388. Washington and Lee University
389. Washington College
390. Washington University in St. Louis
391. Webster University
392. Wellesley College
393. Wells College
394. Wentworth Institute of Technology
395. Wesleyan University
396. Western New England College
397. Westminster College - Missouri
398. Westminster College - Pennsylvania
399. Westminster College - Utah
400. Westmont College
401. Wheaton College
402. Wheelock College
403. Whitman College
404. Whittier College
405. Willamette University
406. William Jewell College
407. Williams College
408. Wilson College
409. Wittenberg University
410. Wofford College
411. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
412. Xavier University
413. Xavier University of Louisiana
414. Yale University

 

Benefits of the Common Application

One application, many universities: The most obvious benefit to the Common Application is that you only have to fill in the pages of basic information (such as name, birth date, high school information, address, etc.) once, rather than multiple times for different colleges.

Standardized format and readability: The Common Application is filled out online and is submitted online. It is pre-formatted so that all of your text lines up properly and prints out in an aesthetically pleasing manner. This helps with the overall presentation of your application.

Help desk: If you encounter a difficulty in filling out in the Common Application or in understanding any of its component parts, you can contact the Common Application office and get your queries answered in a timely and direct manner.

 

Disadvantages of the Common Application

Not universal: Many universities still do not accept the Common Application. Depending on the colleges you choose to apply to, you might end up filling in multiple applications anyhow.

Going the extra mile: Among those colleges that do accept the Common Application, there is usually also the option of completing the college’s individual application. Often, admissions staff looks favourably upon students who go the extra mile and fill in the college’s own application, thereby showing specific interest in that particular college.

Extra materials: Many colleges—including all of the Ivy Leagues schools and many liberal arts colleges—require additional (i.e. supplemental) application materials to be submitted along with the Common Application. If you fail to complete this supplemental application material, your application will be deemed invalid.

Read more about the Common Application and many other topics in our PREPSKILLS® U.S. Admissions Guide.