A young man is sitting on a sofa with a notepad smiling at a woman with a laptop.

Indeed, on April 10, 2023, Bailey noted the university had 6,977 applicants. By the same date the following year, that number jumped to 9,941. That exposure also helped boost admittance numbers. By April 2024, admitted students had grown to 8,348. 

Bailey attributes much of NCCU’s application growth to the instant recognition Common App provides. “Common App has made us more mainstream with our peer institutions,” he says. Calling Common App a “portal of opportunity,” Bailey says high school guidance counselors have remarked that it has made the school part of the typical admissions cycle. 

Michael A. Bailey, Director of Undergraduate Admissions

NC Central attracts a large number of first-generation college students, and Common App has helped drive an increase in first-generation applicants across the Southern United States, seeing an 172% increase to 101,702 applicants in 2022 from 37,322 in 2015.