Columbia Announces Common App

<p>From the Columbia Spectator:</p>

<p>"The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will accept the Common Application starting in fall 2011.</p>

<p>“Columbia will join the more than 400 member institutions accepting The Common Application for admission, using it as our exclusive application for first-year and transfer applicants,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jessica Marinaccio wrote in a statement. “With our recent financial aid initiatives, we offer one of the most generous need-based financial aid programs in the country and believe The Common Application will make applying to Columbia more accessible to students from every background.”</p>

<p>Marinaccio added that the office hopes the Common Application will make the college application process “less stressful” for students and teachers.</p>

<p>She noted that the University has received 26,178 applications to the Class of 2014, the largest applicant pool in history for Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.</p>

<p>At Columbia College, 2,495 applied early decision, while 488 applied early to SEAS. A total of 19,252 applied regular decision to CC, with 3,943 applying regular to SEAS."</p>

<p>Thank god I applied this year.</p>

<p>Oh god. Enormous applicant pool...this can't mean good news for me.</p>

<p>Same. Thank God I applied this year.</p>

<p>Like everyone else, I'm incredibly glad I applied this year, when Columbia was using their own application. The unique application means that less people apply, which means the school is less selective than it otherwise would be, which favors those who apply. The question is whether or not a slightly artificially restricted admissions process is better for Columbia. Dean Marinaccio obviously believes that it is not. She thinks that qualified students who would be selected and would enrich the school are choosing not to apply, and this is hurting Columbia overall. And it's certainly true that some groups of students, likely including poor first-generation students who don't understand that Columbia has a separate app or don't want to pay for a separate app, won't apply.</p>

<p>There is a flip side to this, though. The idiots on these forums with names like "yale2014rocks" who cross-post on all Ivy forums are also dissuaded from applying to a school that doesn't have a common app. When people like that apply and are admitted, it not only kills our yield, but takes a spot away from a deserving less-than-stellar applicant who truly loves the school. To be fair, the admissions office is great at weeding these kinds of applicants out and selecting applicants who really love Columbia. But make no mistake, people slip through the cracks. If a student professes their love for the school, is a great fit, and an amazing applicant, how can you not admit them, even if they then choose Yale? The adcom doesn't know where else students apply, so they can't make these judgments. So you have students will be admitted who will choose to go to Harvard, Yale, or god forbid, Princeton.</p>

<p>By making it easier to apply to Columbia, you help the first, deserving group but you also help the second, parasitical group. It's a trade-off. The same could be said of early decision. It attracts students who truly love the school and won't sell it out for other Ivies, but it also makes it tougher for poor first-gen students to apply.</p>

<p>I, for one, really look forward to hearing what adgeek has to say about this latest development.</p>

<p>I think Columbia's unique app was much easier to fill in than the Common App+Supplement combination most of other selective schools have.</p>

<p>^ Me too. I actually had a bit of fun with my Columbia one, as opposed to Common App.</p>

<p>yeah, but as the story goes columbia was the only ivy not to subscribe; and though certainly being one of a kind makes me happy, in the end it means schools in comparison to you are artificially (as pwoods states) leapfrogging columbia not just this year, but future years, as students seem to become more and more attracted despite the fact that odds are lower and lower. so you lose competitive advantage. but agreed on the easier application.</p>

<p>kudos to being the last adopter.</p>

<p>i still think id have an equal chance of acceptance this year as opposed to future years. plus the columbia app was a pain in the a** inherently because it meant submitting a completely different account/application..no one likes more paperwork</p>

<p>My ds might have applied to Columbia this year if it had been on the Common App. </p>

<p>I think the letters of recommendation were a key factor. He'd already asked teachers for letters for the Common App, and for state schools that didn't use the Common App, and for scholarship applications, and in the end he just couldn't bear the thought of having to harass them for yet another round of recommendations. They couldn't just use what they'd done before, because the schools and scholarship programs all seemed to ask for different formats. Some wanted a form filled out, and others would only accept recommendations electronically, and still others required a sealed envelope with a signature across the flap. The instructions he had to send to some of his letter-writers looked pretty daunting.</p>

<p>With the Common App, once his teachers had submitted their letters online, he didn't have to bother them again if he changed his mind about where to apply.</p>

<p>Will this affect the class of 2015? I plan on applying Early Decision to SEAS at the end of this year. Will it also affect that specific applicant pool?????</p>

<p>lgreen</p>

<p>i think that your d's reason is probably why columbia is making the switch. i mean all the kids in my high school only submitted common app stuff to columbia (because my hs refused to use columbia's sheet) - and guess what? columbia read the applications and some of us were admitted).</p>

<p>in fact most often the complaint has nothing to do with the extra 2 minutes of copy paste one has to do for the part 1 and part 2, but with the cover letters and schools not wanting to submit a new recommendation (as if some teacher's spent a long time on them).</p>

<p>but worse here: there is some constructed notion that columbia isn't flexible, or doesn't realize that kids are lazy. i mean columbia never openly said send us the commonapp letter head, but schools would do so already.</p>

<p>and that is to go to brown14 and your point - one person's pain in the butt, is another person's laziness. i think choosing against applying to a school for a reason so tangential as using the columbia cover sheets or not is pretty absurd.</p>

<p>Meh... I'm skeptical of what this will do to yields</p>

<p>I'm interested to see what this does to yields and also to the acceptance rate.</p>

<p>It's not worth it. It'll just lead more people to go, "Oh, why not apply!"</p>

<p>As others have mentioned, I rather enjoyed Columbia's app. It was nice and organized. The only thing I disliked about their application was the lack of an electronic midyear report. And I guess that would be solved with Common App.</p>

<p>Hopefully $70 will be enough to stop some. Still, I'm glad I applied this year.</p>

<p>This isn't going to affect next year's applicant pool right?</p>

<p>its for class of 2015, it affects next year's applicant pool</p>

<p>I, for one, think the changeover is great. Although I have always loved Columbia and it was/is very high on the list of schools I want to attend, I disliked the application -- primarily because of the space limitations. There was simply insufficient opportunity to describe the full extent of my involvement in my activities, which I found very frustrating. (Of course, I'm much less critical now since I was admitted via likely, but what's that expression about foolish consistency and small minds? :) ) Anyway, good news for the next class of applicants and, I think, ultimately for Columbia.</p>