University applies to join Common Application service

The university recently applied to join the Common Application, an online college application service used by nearly 400 schools around the country such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, the University of Virginia and Northwestern University.

"Our top priority is to assemble the very best class possible each and every year," says Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA). "We've developed a system that achieves that and has produced the largest number of applications in the university's history for three consecutive years. But we are always looking for ways to do better. The Common Application is an excellent resource that will increase access for prospective students and broaden the university's geographic reach."

Based on the experience of peer institutions that belong to the Common Application community, the university can expect to see an increase in quantity, quality, and geographic, racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, and first-generation diversity among future applicants.

The Common Application requires member institutions to evaluate students using a holistic selection process, which U-M helped to pioneer, and which remains a core element of the admissions process.

"The Common Application allows member schools to create their own application supplement," says Erica Sanders, director of OUA Recruitment and Operations. "This means that anything not available on the Common Application that is unique to our current Michigan application can potentially be included on our supplement."

The Common Application also provides standard supplements for international or home-schooled applicants, or those with interests in the arts or athletics.

A response to the university's request to join the Common Application should be received by February, which would allow the Common Application to be used in the next admissions cycle that begins in late summer.