RIC to use Common Application for admissions beginning this fall

Efficiency and ease…that’s what students want when applying for admission to college.

And that is indeed what they’ll get at Rhode Island College, now that it has become a Common Application school.

Beginning in mid-September, prospective RIC students will be able to apply to the college with a standardized application form that is used by over 460 institutions of higher education, both small and large, public and private.

RIC is one of nearly 50 schools that recently joined the Common Application organization for the 2011-12 admission cycle. Membership is not automatic; it requires institutions to meet standards and criteria set by the organization.

Many of the students who apply to RIC also consider other colleges and universities in Rhode Island and the nearby region, noted Holly Shadoian, RIC assistant vice president for academic affairs.

“For students, the beauty of the Common App is that it allows them to complete one college application, at any time of day or night, click the colleges they are interested in, and then submit,” she said.

Students need write only one essay, request one set of transcripts, and one set of counselor or teacher recommendations from their high school, rather than a separate set for every college.

“In addition to providing a service students have requested, the benefit to the college includes increased visibility far beyond our usual recruitment territory of New England, New York, New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic states,” Shadoian said.

Last year, approximately 1.8 million college applications were filed via the Common Application system.

RIC will also be one of the organization’s Exclusive Users. This means that the college will use the Common Application as its sole application for admission – online or in print – and will also allow students to submit everything required (supplements, payments, etc.) within the Common Application online system.

All of which makes for “a far more streamlined and efficient process for students as well as school counselors,” Shadoian said.

Students interested in applying to RIC will be directed to the Admissions website and then be automatically linked to the Common Application page. If a student prefers not to apply online, he or she can download all the necessary forms.

Shadoian said most colleges and universities experience a jump in applications after becoming a Common Application member, due mainly to the increased exposure to potential students.

“Conservatively, we are expecting a 10 percent increase, although some institutions report as high as a 20 percent increase in applications in their first year,” Shadoian said. “This means the admissions staff will be very busy this coming year reviewing applications and making admission decisions in a timely manner.”

RIC joins Brown University, Bryant University, Providence College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University and the University of Rhode Island as local Common Application schools.