May 5, 2009

2009-10 Common Application

The 2009-10 Common Application and Common App Online system will not be released until July 1, 2009. You can get a sneak peak, however, at some of the upcoming changes in the form and format on the CommonApp website. Yellow highlighting indicates changes to the paper and online applications, and pink highlighting indicates new "dropdown menu" choices which will be available only online:

I recommend taking a closer look at the changes in the Secondary School Report form, particularly the increased interest in school participation in the Advanced Placement (AP) program. The answer to the new question concerning the total number of AP courses available will give colleges an idea of how much you have taken advantage of the AP offerings at your school. As we may have already discussed, AP scores are taking on a larger role in college admissions. Interestingly, I see that the authors of the Common Application have largely elected to steer clear of issues involving the new Score Choice program. We'll see how this plays out in further clarifications from the College Board as well as from individual colleges and universities.

Finally, please note the subtle change in the language pertaining to disciplinary history. You now must report violations that took place at any educational institution attended since the 9th grade. I guess some students were taking the former language a little too literally and neglected to report all infractions. This is a huge issue for schools as well as applicants and argues for good behavior throughout high school!

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