Many current Georgetown students who haven’t repressed their memories of the college admissions process likely remember being frustrated to some degree by the number of colleges – including Georgetown – that refused to accept the Common Application.
Over the past several years, however, schools such as Brown, UChicago, UVA, Michigan and Columbia have joined the growing number of schools bowing to the pressure to give up signature applications in favor of the universal online application. With USC and Howard joining the pool of Common App schools, the Washington Post‘s Daniel de Vise reports that Georgetown is now the last top tier university refusing to accept the app (de Vise’s headline isn’t technically accurate, since MIT also insists on its own application.) According to Post, USC adopted the application after feedback from college counselors, noting that the Common App can make it easier for disadvantaged students to apply to schools.
However, Georgetown’s dean of admissions Charles Deacon has long been an opponent of the Common App, having previously stated that the App tends to encourage students to spam schools with applications and that the schools are being forced to change their process to keep their application numbers up with other top colleges.
The Office of Admissions could not be reached for comment.
In an interview, Deacon argued that forcing schools to adhere to a common application diminishes the personal nature of college selection.
“We do feel that [the Common App] makes applying too easy, too homogenized, and not personalized at all,” Deacon said. “[...] In the end, students are being asked to differentiate and yet the process homogenizes them.”
Deacon stated that several schools that have recently adopted the Common App, including Columbia and Michigan, have had substantial difficulties with the ballooning application pool, with Columbia’s admissions office in particular being forced to hire outside readers in order to handle the increased load.
“We [...] are able to keep the size of the pool within some reason,” Deacon said, noting that Georgetown is able to review all applications with a full-time staff member and an alumni interviewer.
Deacon reiterated that by keeping a signature application, Georgetown reaps the benefits of a higher-quality applicant pool and better yield, with Georgetown’s Class of 2015 yield of 49% being the best in the school’s history.
“A lot of our policies would be different if we were focused on numbers or metrics,” Deacon said.
h/t: WaPo. Photo: Common App