Nov 17, 2009

Use of Common Application Continues to Climb Beyond All Expectations

In case anyone thinks the race to be admitted to college is tapering off, I have some very bad news. It looks like students can expect competition this year to be at least as intense as last. Based on early statistics provided by the Common Application, it appears that record-breaking numbers of applications are being submitted even as the total number of US high school students expected to graduate next year will decline slightly.

To date, 587,625 applicants have registered with the Common Application website. This number is up 16 percent over 2008. Almost 385,000 applications have already been submitted, representing an increase of 25 percent over last year.

Other optional services provided by the through the Common Application Online School Forms System are also on the rise. Secondary school reports submitted through the Common App website are up by a whopping 63 percent, while teacher evaluations submitted through the system have increased by 38 percent over 2008. Note that not all high schools use these services, as many either don’t have access to the system or prefer to use other methods of submitting this kind of information.

In the week prior to November 1—a popular due date for Early Decision and Early Action applications—the Common Application support team replied to 10,115 requests for assistance with an average response time of 30 minutes. But hold on. That’s only the second busiest support period. The last week in December is traditionally the busiest week of the year for the 24/7 team fielding questions from frantic high school students as the procrastinators rush to submit before New Year’s deadlines.

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