For those who have followed the Common Application's slow-motion implosion over the last ten months, news that CollegeNet is launching an antitrust suit against the Common App should come as no surprise. What is a surprise is that it took so long for an individual or entity to call the Common App out for its out-of-control anti-competitive and deleterious-from-the-perspective-of-the-student behavior.
Will colleges and universities that are members of the Common App finally stop doing figurative lines of CA in order to get their un-earned fix of yearly increases in perceived selectivity (that serve to make the college admissions process unnecessarily frightening for millions and students and parents) and drop the Common App once and for all?
Has the Common App done enough harm to enough young men and women to deserve this suit? Absolutely. Beyond the stress it caused thousands of otherwise well-adjusted high school seniors last summer and fall with its bungled roll-out of a disaster of an online application, during the 2013-2014 admissions cycle it has also been grossly anti-minority and anti-economically disadvantaged because it gives advantage to students who attend secondary schools (most of which are private or well-heeled public schools) that purchased business partner Hobsons' Naviance platform, which allows counselor and teacher recommendations to be personalized to each college and university as opposed to students applying from non-Naviance schools, which can't submit college or university-specific teacher or counselor recommendations to colleges or universities to which they apply. Notice how these last few lines are in the present tense. This is still going on for colleges still accepting applications. This has not been fixed.
Will Common App member colleges and universities finally say enough is enough? Let us hope so. Who will show some courage and be the first since these follies began last August to drop the Common Application all together? Is there a true leader in an office of undergraduate admissions in all of the land? The same type of leader admissions directors claim to want in their applicants for undergraduate admission? Who will lead?
Craig Meister is president of Tactical College Consulting, a global college admissions consultancy that specializes in giving students the tools they need to find and get into their best-fit college. Like it on Facebook today.