The Uncommon Rise of the Common App

More than 500 colleges have made the same form a cornerstone of the admissions process. Is that a good idea?

Matt Roth for The Chronicle

Students perused college booths at a fair in Baltimore this month. More than 340,000 applicants have used the Common App already this admissions cycle.
November 18, 2013 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Just for a moment, forget all the glitches. Forget the panicked high-school students who couldn't log in to submit their applications or who saw their essays garbled. Forget the parents who paid the same application fee twice because they couldn't...

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