Freshman Admission Switches to Common Application

Joining a group of nearly 500 colleges and universities from around the world, Georgia Tech will increase its visibility to prospective students this fall as it begins accepting the Common Application for freshman undergraduate admission.

Buzz Fills Out Application
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Buzz fills out an application to go to Georgia Tech.

The change comes after years of research and discussion among admission staff on campus and with colleagues at peer universities.

“One of our big goals is to continue to diversify campus from a geographic, academic and socioeconomic standpoint,” said Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admission. “In order to do that, we have to continue to diversify the applicant pool.”

The standardized Common App gives students access to more colleges by simplifying the process for them to apply. Rather than filling out a different application for each university, applicants can fill out one application and submit it to multiple member schools at once.

“These are kids who are already applying to schools similar to Tech and should be applying here too,” Clark said. Admission staff will talk with counselors, prospective students and parents this summer to provide more information about the new application process and deadlines.

“We’re already hearing excitement from high school counselors who have been telling kids to apply here and know this will make it easier for them to do so, ” Clark said. The Common App also includes a counselor recommendation, giving admission staff valuable information about prospective students and their high schools and curriculum.

Other universities that have switched to the Common App have seen as high as a 20 percent increase in applications the first year. Clark’s team is preparing for what will be a year of challenges and change, knowing that the growing pains are signs of positive change for Tech. They are interested to see how the new applicant pool yields in comparison to past years.

“This step will bolster our efforts to enroll the best students nationally and internationally as we seek to meet the Institute’s vision of defining the technological research university of the 21st century,” Clark said.

The Common App will replace Tech’s current application, which is sourced from CollegeNET. The Common App is composed of a standard form and essay, as well as a supplemental question that asks applicants why they have chosen to apply to Georgia Tech. The application will go live August 1, with an application deadline of October 15 for early action fall 2014 admission. Transfer applicants will continue to use a separate application.