Jun 28, 2010

The 2009-10 Common Application Goes Off-line on July 15

Time is running out for anyone still planning to file the Common Application for the fall of 2010. The 2009-2010 online form will close at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time, on Thursday, July 15th. If you pay attention to these things, that’s two weeks later than in previous years. The newly revised 2010-2011 form will appear on August 1, 2010—a month later than usual.

Students interested in applying to any of the 32 Common App member institutions with rolling deadlines on or after July 15 may still submit the paper version of the application by mail. Locally, this list includes Hood College, in Frederick, Maryland. Before sending anything off, however, you may want to check with the colleges to see if spots really remain open in the class.

By the way, it’s been a huge growth year for the Common App. Overall registrations rose by about 15 percent over last year to 913,188 and counting. Submissions went up by 20 percent, to over 1.9 million applications sent. And 27 new member colleges and universities were added to the roster. Effective July 1, the Common App will have 414 members, including 47 public institutions and 2 international members.

Even though the 2010-11 Common App Online will not go live until August 1, many members will finalize “supplements” before then. Students wishing to get a head start on those essays can either contact colleges directly or scan individual websites for next year’s topics. Keep in mind that the main Common App essay questions are not changing and you can access them by downloading the “preview” form.

Another early bird route to consider would be the Universal College Application (UCA) which goes live on July 1. The UCA is currently accepted by 75 colleges and universities including Johns Hopkins, Towson, and Stevenson Universities in Maryland, as well as Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. And remember that UCA has a very handy upload function that supports sending files, videos, and other digital content.

The next few weeks represent a transitional period in the college application business, as we move files from one cabinet to another. Consider it a good time to get organized, as the various admissions players retool and get ready for the 2010-11 application season.

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