Louisville, KY - Common App, the non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the college admissions process, today released its annual impact report highlighting the organization’s accomplishments throughout the 2018-2019 application season, and forecasting the work it will continue to do to increase access for all students. 

The report includes an exclusive look into Common App’s application numbers for the 2018-2019 season, including total first-year and transfer applicants, a breakdown in the diversity of applicants, social media reach, and more. The report also highlights the most popular essay prompts applicants chose this past year, providing insight into how applicants are showcasing their unique stories to prospective colleges. Key findings of the report include:

  • More than 1.2 million first-year and transfer applicants applying with Common App

  • More than $80 million in need-based fee waivers awarded by Common App members

  • More than 700,000 counselor and teacher recommenders supporting students 

  • Nearly 3,000 local College Signing Day events


Additionally, through its newly formed Access and Equity division, which includes Reach Higher, an initiative started by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time in the White House and now housed at Common App, the organization received more than $2 million in grant funding in 2018-2019. These grants will fund new initiatives related to student and family engagement, evidence-based college advising, and matching students to scholarship resources.

“Common App is proud to announce the results of the 2018-2019 application season, and demonstrate how our reach is making it possible for an even greater number of students to access college opportunity,” said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of Common App. “Our Access and Equity efforts, including Reach Higher, help to inspire a college-going culture through thousands of local College Signing Day events across the country celebrating student achievement, and millions of people reached through our outreach efforts and social media channels. We’re excited to invest future innovation to increase college access thanks to the generous support of our foundation partners and grant funders.”

To access the full report click here or visit https://www.commonapp.org/impact.

About Common App

Common App is a not-for-profit member organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Each year, more than one million students, one-third of whom are first-generation, apply to college through the Common App’s online application. In January 2019, the Common App united with Reach Higher, the college access and success campaign started by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time at the White House. Its core programming, including Better Make Room, UpNext, College Signing Day, Beating the Odds, school counselor support, and current grants continues as part of the Common App’s work with its member institutions, school counselors, and students. Founded in 1975, Common App serves nearly 900 member colleges and universities worldwide. 

To learn more, visit commonapp.org, and follow @CommonApp and #CommonApp on social media.