About Us

About Us

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The Common Application is a not-for-profit, member organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process.

Our Story

Forty years ago, 15 forward-thinking institutions of higher education got together to brainstorm something great. Instead of a student needing to complete a separate college application for each of their 15 institutions, they envisioned a future when a student could complete one application and send copies to any of the other 14 schools. This became known as The Common Application Experiment, and it forever changed the course of college admissions.

Today, what was once a small but innovative group of 15 institutions has transformed to a member organization comprised of more than 800 wonderfully diverse colleges and universities across 20 countries. Each year, more than 1 million students, one-third of whom are first-generation, apply to college through the Common App's free online application.