The Un-common Application

Sydney Dybing, Opinion Editor

When applying for college, seeing the words “We’re on the Common Application!” on a school’s website is a fantastic feeling. “I only have to write one essay that applies to every school!” you think joyously. But soon you find yourself stricken with terror: you’re staring into the face of doom that is Supplemental Essays.

How can a school call itself a Common App university if it requires applicants to write three (or more) separate essays specific to their school? All it does is create extra, meaningless work for students.
From identifying the “most significant challenge that society faces today” in 50 words or less (I’m looking at you, Stanford) to explaining “what’s so odd about odd numbers” (University of Chicago), colleges are increasingly more creative with their extra essay prompts, making it incredibly hard to write anything that could apply to more than one school.

For many universities, claiming the status of “Common Application” now is just misleading and cruel. I want to go to your college. But I don’t want to wear my fingers down to bloody nubs writing your (and ten other schools’) four million essays.