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Cornell, deciding competition is good, joins Universal College Application

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Today, Cornell University, by joining the Universal College Application has acknowledged that offering prospective students more than one way to apply is probably a smart idea.

"We are keenly aware of the anxiety prospective students face as application deadlines approach. In this critical moment, we feel a sense of responsibility to offer students and counselors a new path for submitting an admissions application. Adding the Universal College Application is an essential part of our response to that need, and in line with many of our most respected peer institutions. We've also been pleased with the speed and flexibility UCA has shown in getting Cornell into their application network." said Jason Locke, Interim Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment at Cornell University.

Cornell joins Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Washington University in St. Louis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI,) and Tulane, among others as members of the forty-member Universal College Application.

Though still far smaller than the Common Application, which has over 500 members, the recent decisions by major players in the world of higher education to offer an alternative way in which to apply to their undergraduate schools indicates that many "in the know" admissions directors have lost a degree of their previous blind faith in the leadership of the Common Application. The Common Application has experienced months of well-deserved bad press after launching a new version, known as CA4, which many have appropriately compared to President Obama's frustration-producing healthcare.gov.

Locke continued, “For us, the admissions process is about assembling the best, most diverse, most creative, most energetic student body we can bring to Cornell, and making sure everyone has the tools and the time to reach us is the foundation to that entire effort. These steps should insure that we’re able to do that once again for the Class of 2018.”

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Craig Meister is president of Tactical College Consulting, a Baltimore-based college admissions consultancy that specializes in giving students the tools they need to find and get into their best-fit college. Most recently he created ConvertYourScore.org to help students compare their ACT and SAT scores and learn more about how the tests differ.

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