Alma College Joins Common Application Consortium
Beginning Aug. 1, rising high school seniors across the nation can apply to Alma College via the Common Application, the standardized undergraduate college admission application that allows students to apply to any of 490 member institutions.
Alma College is one of 37 new member schools that have joined the Common Application, which provides both online and print versions of its first-year and transfer applications.
Prospective students can apply to Alma in one of two ways. Students applying via the Common Application will complete both the standard Common Application and the Alma College supplemental form, which asks additional questions related to the performing arts and alumni connections to Alma. The 2012-13 Common Application becomes available Aug. 1.
Students who want to apply directly to Alma College can still do so by completing the application Alma College has used for many years.
The Common App is a tool for attracting applicants from beyond Alma’s traditional Michigan territory, says Bob Garcia, director of admissions.
“There are several reasons to join the Common Application,” says Garcia. “One, a holistic approach to admissions allows us to consider all the factors that are important in selecting the incoming class. The Common App, which requires an essay as well as a teacher or guidance counselor recommendation, provides a structure for us to do that.
“Second, the college has a goal to diversify campus, both geographically and ethnically,” says Garcia. “The Common App has proven to be an effective tool to extend the reach of your institution, especially to the coasts. Alma College has traditionally attracted students from the Midwest; we want to extend that reach.
“Third, using the Common App tends to increase the number of applications that schools receive,” he says. “That’s important for us at a time when the Michigan high school graduate cohort is shrinking.”
Bob Garcia: “A holistic approach to admissions allows us to consider all the factors that are important in selecting the incoming class.”
Common App schools require a 250-word essay. At Alma, the essay has been recommended but not required, though the majority of students have submitted an essay over the years.
“Last year, about 90 percent of the students who enrolled at Alma wrote an essay,” he says. “Beginning this year, the essay will be required for admission to Alma.”
Another advantage of the Common App is its ability to bring Alma College in front of students who might not be aware of the school located in the middle of Michigan.
“Students can access the Common App Website and select characteristics of the kind of institution they are seeking,” says Garcia. “For example, a high school senior in Florida can indicate he or she is interested in a private liberal arts college anywhere in the country that offers a new media studies major. The Common App will identify Alma College as a school that meets the student’s criteria.”
The Common Application membership association was established in 1975. Its membership now includes 490 institutions, public and private, large and small. Last year, nearly 2.5 million applications were submitted via the Common App Online.
Record Incoming Class Anticipated
While official enrollment numbers aren’t finalized until mid-September, the Alma campus is preparing for a record fall 2012 incoming class, says Garcia. First-year students report for orientation Aug. 25, with the fall term beginning Sept. 4.
“The positive momentum we feel is reflected in new programs, facilities and student opportunities,” he says. “Prospective students are recognizing that momentum and selecting Alma at a rate that’s never been seen in our history.”
Posted: Mon, July 23rd, 2012 at 8:32AM