The Common Application is a win for both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and prospective college students, according to UW-Madison officials, as it increases the number of applications received while decreasing the amount of time spent applying.
Of the 42,627 freshmen who applied to UW-Madison for the 2018-2019 school year domestic non-resident applicants rose 29 percent, while Wisconsin resident applicants only increased by six percent.
“By adding the Common Application we are now able to reach a significantly larger cohort of potential applicants from around the country and beyond,” said André Phillips, Director of Admissions Recruitment.
Adding more out-of-state students has a financial benefit for the university. Non-resident students pay $34,783 in tuition, compared with $10,533 for in-state students.
Top university officials have been touting the increase as a sign the university is increasing in attractiveness for applicants, out-of-state or not.
“We were somewhere around 35,500 applications last year. We jumped almost 23 percent; we are going to be up just over 42,000. That’s an amazing increase in one year. A lot of this is because we’ve just recently gone on to what’s known as the Common App,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank at a recent event.
The Common App allows students to complete only one general application and send it off to any of the 750 participating colleges and universities throughout the U.S. that they wish to apply to.
“If the student does the Common App, she’s done most of her work for several applications if she chooses to apply to diverse set of schools,” said Eric Grodsky, a UW-Madison professor of sociology.
However, some are concerned with the rising number of qualified applicants will deter some from even applying because they assume they won’t get in.
“Students are worried that their opportunities are diminished by the Common Application. But, everybody has got to admit more students if they’re getting more applicants and the yield is going down,” Grodsky said.
The Common App does not replace the current UW System Application, but offers prospective students another option for applying. Phillips added that the use of the Common App will not influence the overall waiting list process.
“It’s a good idea; anything that reduces barriers for students to apply is a good thing and putting us on the Common App reduces those barriers,” Grodsky said.