A $75 Common App. fee before schools can review applications? There’s a great article by Jeremy Diamond in “The GW Hatchet” entitled “GW expects fewer high school students to apply after Common App switch” that we wanted to bring to the attention of our loyal readers. George Washington University is bracing itself for a decline in application numbers next year and the university’s enrollment manager, Laurie Koekler, suspects this decline in application numbers will not only impact George Washington but also colleges across the nation.
As stated in “The GW Hatchet,” “GW’s enrollment manager, Laurie Koehler, said the University will take in fewer applications – taking a bite out of its critical selectivity measure – because prospective students must now pay the $75 fee for the Common Application before schools can begin reviewing applications. In past years, admissions representatives sometimes went ahead and made decisions without the fee. That decline will likely lead to a smaller, but more serious, pool of applicants, Koehler said. With more committed applicants, she added that more accepted students could decide to enroll – pushing up the University’s 33 percent yield rate.” So even though fewer students will apply, those that do will have higher odds of actually attending (which will result in higher yields across the nation).
By requiring students to pay with the application, the Common App. is requiring more of students than they have in the past. And any more requirements can only lead to a decline in applications submitted. So all these years, we hear the mantra that this year is more competitive than last year (a mantra that, mind you, isn’t actually accurate as we’ve pointed out many times on this blog and elsewhere). Maybe next year, it’ll be just the opposite. Wouldn’t that be interesting in highly selective college admissions? And it’s all because of a Common App. fee.