Promoting access, equity, and integrity, in the college admissions process for all students.
Today, students can use the Common App to apply to over 1,000 colleges and universities. As the application evolved over time from a paper application to online, the core of Common App’s principles has never changed – promoting access, equity, and integrity, in the college admissions process for all students. Intrinsic to these principles is the promotion of fair, transparent, straightforward, and consistent practices in admissions.
At Common App, we know that the admissions process is one based on trust among students, counselors, teachers and our members. Students need to have comfort that the rules for applying to college remain consistent and have their best interests in mind. To support these values, through careful considerations of the comments and needs of our key constituents – students, teachers, college admissions counselors, parents, and the colleges themselves – as well as professional organizations and both federal and state guidance, Common App has developed the following principles, the focus of which is in the best interest of the student, to continue to forge a direct, unambiguous path to higher education for all. Therefore, as a member of Common App, you agree to abide by and uphold our principles within the application:
Additionally, in the interest of students and their families, to assist in ease of use, and in the spirit of fairness, consistency, and widely accepted definitions and practices currently used in college applications
Common App will not support an application deadline for first-year fall admission that is earlier than October 15
Common App will not support questions that ask applicants to list or rank schools to which they are applying
Common App will support only the following decision plans: Regular Decision, Rolling Decision, Early Decision (I and II), Early Action (I and II), and Restrictive/Single Choice Early Action. The widely accepted definitions of these plans may be found here
Common App will not support multiple Early Decision (ED) applications from applicants, with the exception of an ED II application
Common App will not support questions that are prohibited by federal or state law (e.g., marital status, disability) unless the member can provide a legal exemption to do so.
Colleges are of course free to support other practices outside the Common App, but the Common App works to support practices that have been found to be easy to administer and understand for hundreds of colleges and millions of applicants over the years.