Use of the common application has skyrocketed. According to Inside Higher Ed, the one millionth common application for this academic year was submitted online last month, up from 682,357 online applications during the entire previous academic year.
Those numbers didn’t fall off a tree. An increasing number of schools are allowing and encouraging students to use the common application. The Common Application announced the addition of 22 new member schools this academic year. That addition brings their total membership to 320, representing 43 states and Washington DC, 18 public and 302 private institutions.
Obviously, a portion of the increase in applications processed results from the increasing number of institutions using the common application. I suspect, however, that we are also seeing students simply applying to more schools because it is so much easier with the common app to apply to additional colleges than it was previously, when you had to submit a different application to each school that you were applying to.