Tufts U. Will Accept Universal College Application

Tufts University will soon allow students to apply via the Universal College Application, the institution announced on Friday. The university previously accepted only the Common Application, which has experienced technical difficulties since introducing a new online system, in August.

Tufts is the second institution this month to join the Universal College Application. (Princeton University was the other.)

Over the last few years, the for-profit Universal College Application’s membership has dwindled, from about 80 colleges to 33. Meanwhile, the Common Application’s membership has soared, to 517.

Yet as students and colleges continue to have problems with the Common Application, some admissions officials are considering alternatives. Joshua J. Reiter, founder of the Universal College Application, said he had been contacted by a dozen institutions, some of which have sent completed membership forms. Mr. Reiter said he would not name those colleges until their decisions were final and, if they end up joining, their pages go live.

In an e-mail to college counselors on Friday, Lee A. Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions at Tufts, said the university would give equal consideration to applicants using either the Common Application or the Universal College Application, which would be available for Tufts applicants within a week. “These adjustments to our admissions practice,” he wrote, “reflect our interest in offering students and counselors a second, reliable pathway to submit an application this year.”

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