Jun 24, 2020

Virginia Tech joins the Common App and keeps requirements the same

Beginning August 1, 2020, students will be able to use the Common Application to apply to Virginia Tech. Long rumored to be in process, the addition of the Common App may expand the reach of Virginia Tech into new markets and potentially attract more applicants, particularly those thinking about coming from out of state to Blacksburg. 

“Over the past two years, our office has transformed the admissions process, making it more accessible for more students. Adding the Common App is the next logical step,” said Director of Admissions Juan Espinoza.

For the past couple of years, Virginia Tech has been one of very few universities exclusively using the Coalition Application. Last year, the University of Florida added the Common App, leaving Tech, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington as the only remaining “Coalition exclusive” schools. And not surprisingly, these large universities represented a significant percentage of Coalition users and cross-over applications. Virginia Tech’s announcement will no doubt affect Coalition utilization. 

While the Coalition Application still remains an option for prospective Hokies, students now have a choice of application platforms to use in 2020-21. According to Espinoza, “it’s important for students to have choices so they can use the application platform that works best for them.”

With the addition of the Common App, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions hopes to not only enlarge but also diversify its applicant pool. Espinoza noted that, “with a record number of underserved and underrepresented students in this fall’s incoming class, adding the Common App will help Virginia Tech continue fulfilling its mission of partnering with students from the commonwealth, the nation, and the world in a top-tier educational experience.”

As one of the newest members of the Common App, Virginia Tech will not be changing its basic application requirements. The Common App’s personal statement will not be required nor will it be considered in the admissions process. Virginia Tech will not require teacher or counselor recommendations to be submitted. 

And, Virginia Tech will not be changing the four short answer questions (120 words) used the last two years. These will be found in the member-specific section of the application and are:
  • Virginia Tech’s motto is "Ut Prosim" which means 'That I May Serve'.  We are interested in learning more about your interests and how you have been involved and/or served. Briefly describe a group, organization, or community that you have been involved with.
  • Describe a situation where you were involved or witness to an act of discrimination. How, or did, you respond?
  •  Describe an example of a situation where you have significantly influenced others, took on a leadership role, helped resolve a dispute, or contributed to a group’s goals.
  • Briefly describe a personal goal you have set for yourself. Why this goal, what is your timeline to achieve this goal, what precipitated this goal?
With regard to the optional COVID-19 question added by the Common App this year, Espinoza advises that, “We will read that information if submitted. Coalition is asking a similar question and we will review that information in the same way.”

Keeping all things equal, Tech will launch both the Common App and the Coalition Application on August 1.

Virginia Tech will be joining well over 900 colleges and universities that use the Common Application and is no doubt among the more welcome of the new additions for 2020-21.

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