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The Common App Leaves Out International Students

  • 17 Nov 14
  • Maximilian Loeffler

Common app consult mango

There are multiple resources that assist prospective students as they figure out the college application process. One of the rising stars, of late, has been The Common Application. The Common Application, also referred to as the Common App, allows students to apply to multiple schools at the same time by storing basic information that the user fills out when creating a profile. This information is then used for all of the institutions the prospective student wishes to apply to. Essays for example, also have a unified prompt and can be used for multiple schools.

Although The Common App is a great resource for students to streamline the application process, the benefits of this are not equally felt across all users. At the moment 91 percent of users are domestic students, and only 9 percent international students. This can be accredited to some inflexibilities of the Common App in accommodating international student needs. Lucia Pierce an education consultant living in Shanghai, China notes how students in China do not have councilors, therefore filling out the mandatory fields with a letter of recommendation for ones councilor is extremely difficult for them. Chinese students usually go to their teachers, who may or may not speak English. If that fails Chinese students have also falsified these fields to the best of their ability in hopes to attend institutions in the United States.

It is evident that the success of the Common App can be duplicated for an international audience, but in doing so has to be localized and adapted to new audiences. There are several immediate areas where this is evident. First with the mandatory councilor fields, as such a position does not exist in a lot of the BRIC countries. Secondly, that the applicant may complete the forms in a language that they are more comfortable with. Of course the student is expected to have a good understanding of the English language, but other individuals such as parents and professors may not. Therefore including them in the process increased the potential for a successfully filled out application. This of course will matriculate directly to the universities using the services.

Topics: Common App, International Students, Application



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