KNOXVILLE—In its ongoing efforts to make the college application process easier, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has joined Common Application, a service that allows students to fill out a single document to apply for admission at more than 450 public and private universities across the United States.
First-time entering freshmen applying for admission to UT for the fall of 2013 will be the first to use Common Application.
Students can access the Common Application via UT’s admission website or the Common Application website. If they use Common Application, they will complete one core application and some supplemental questions for each school they choose.
Students will find no difference between the information they provide on the Common Application and on UT’s application. UT’s application fee is the same for both, and consideration of applicants is also the same, regardless of how they apply.
“We’re doing it as a service to our students to make the application process as easy as possible for them,” said Vern Granger, assistant dean and director of undergraduate admissions.
The Common Application, first piloted in 1975, was initially an effort of a group of private institutions. Public institutions began participating in 2001.
UT is among eight Tennessee colleges and universities who are part of Common Application. The others are all private institutions: Belmont University, Christian Brothers University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Rhodes College, Vanderbilt University, and Sewanee, the University of the South. The University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt are the only other SEC schools now using Common Application, although other SEC schools are considering joining the program, Granger said.
Granger said peer institutions who participate in Common Application have seen an increase in the number of applications they receive, as well as an increase in the geographic and ethnic diversity of applicants.
“This is a customer service effort on our part,” Granger said. “Each year, we get requests from students and counselors who want us to be part of Common Application. The time is right for us to do this.”
To participate in Common Application, a college or university must use a holistic review process—something UT has been doing for about five years now. The institution must apply to Common Application and be accepted as a member.
This year, UT has received more than 14,000 applications from students wanting to be part of the Class of 2016. The university aims to welcome a class of 4,200 freshmen in the fall.
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