Washington Monthly - September/October 2016 - 73

hoW the internet Wrecked college admissions COLLEGES ARE DROWNING IN ONLINE APPLICATIONS, WHICH IS BAD NEWS FOR BOTH SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS. By Anne Kim ver the last decade, the internet has made it much easier for students to apply to college, especially thanks to services like the "Common App." For the nearly 700 schools now part of the Common Application- the nation's leading standardized online college application portal-students can browse by name, state, or region, by the type of institution (public or private), and by whether it's co-ed or single-sex. Clicking on a college takes students to a brief profile of the school and then an invitation: "Ready to apply?" And now that students can apply to more colleges with the click of a few buttons, they are doing exactly that. In hocus-focus o 2013, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), 32 percent of college freshmen applied to seven or more colleges-up 10 percentage points from 2008. Almost all of this growth has been online. In the 2015-16 admissions cycle, over 920,000 students used the Common App, more than double the number in 2008-09. On the one hand, the internet has been good news for college access. Oļ¬ƒcials at the Common App, for example, say 31 percent of the college applicants who used the portal in 2015-16 were first-generation students. Students and their families are also now smarter consumers of what's Washington Monthly 73

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Monthly - September/October 2016

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