Common App Offers Direct Admissions to Colleges and Universities Nationwide

The Common App announced over 200,000 students from low- and middle-income families will be automatically accepted to 70 participating schools.
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Published on November 8, 2023
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  • The Common App began a pilot program in 2021 that resulted in over 800 out of 33,000 students accepting direct admissions offers at 14 institutions.
  • Last year, the Common App announced the number of underrepresented minority applicants grew by 131%, while first-generation college student rates grew 90%.
  • The states of Indiana and Georgia have implemented direct admissions initiatives for in-state high school students. The University of Wisconsin system offers a similar program.

Eligible students who applied to college using the Common App will automatically be accepted.

Common App last week announced that over 200,000 students from low- and middle-income families will be automatically accepted to the 70 member colleges and universities nationwide participating in its direct admissions program.

The Common App is the most popular college application accepted by U.S. colleges and universities.

Around 12% of first-year Common App users will receive at least one direct offer from a college. Common App first piloted three rounds of direct admissions starting in 2021, resulting in over 800 out of 33,000 students accepting direct admissions offers at 14 colleges and universities.

The most impacted demographics were Black or African American, Latino/a, and first-generation students, according to the press release.

"With today's launch of our full-scale Common App Direct Admissions program, even more students will know they are worthy and welcomed on a college campus," said Jenny Rickard, president and CEO of Common App.

Last year, Common App announced record application rates from underrepresented minority students. The number of underrepresented minority applicants grew by 131%, and first-generation college student application rates were up 90%.

Common App hinted at new changes and progressive policies to advance equity and social change in higher education in May 2022. The organization's plan is highlighted within its mission statement, saying it's "committed to removing … barriers and improving application rates for students who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized in higher education."

"Colleges join the Common App because they want to expand the diversity of their applicant pool," Emma Steele, Common App's senior public relations manager, previously told BestColleges.

A New Trend in Higher Education: Direct Admissions

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education was among the first to adopt direct admissions in this new trend. In August, it announced that high schoolers from 327 state schools could receive direct admissions from 38 participating colleges for fall 2024 enrollment.

A few months later, the University of Wisconsin and the state of Georgia followed suit.

The University of Wisconsin announced that most of its campuses will directly admit qualifying Wisconsin high schoolers without the students ever needing to apply. Different campuses would reach out to a student depending on the student's GPA, academic performance, and class rank.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced a statewide Georgia Match direct admissions initiative that directly admits qualified high school seniors to more than 40 public institutions.

Students can "claim their spot" at up to three schools for no fees. Once students claim their spot, the school will contact the student on how to apply and waive any application fees.

Schools Offering Direct Admissions Through the Common App


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Hendrix College


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Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Woodbury University


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Regis University


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Eckerd College

Stetson University


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Brenau University


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Millikin University

Western Illinois University


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University of Evansville

University of Saint Francis


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Thomas More University


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Hampshire College

Lasell University

Lesley University

Regis College

University of Massachusetts Boston

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Western New England University


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Capitol Technology University

Towson University

University of Maryland Eastern Shore


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Central Michigan University


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Augsburg University

The College of St. Scholastica

Concordia University, St. Paul


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Truman State University

North Carolina

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Wingate University

New Jersey

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Centenary University

Kean University

Montclair State University

Rider University

Stockton University


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University of Nevada, Reno

New York

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Iona University

Mercy University

Nazareth University

New York Institute of Technology

Niagara University

Paul Smith's College

St. Thomas Aquinas College

SUNY Buffalo State University

The New School

Wagner College

Wells College


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College of Wooster

Wittenberg University


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Oral Roberts University


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Oregon Tech

Portland State University


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Allegheny College

Arcadia University

Immaculata University

Lincoln University

Neumann University

Rosemont College

York College of Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

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Salve Regina University

South Carolina

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Spartanburg Methodist College


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The University of Memphis


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Austin College

Houston Christian University

St. Edward's University


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Christopher Newport University

George Mason University

Marymount University

University of Lynchburg

Virginia Commonwealth University


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Whitworth University


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St. Norbert College