You betcha! As early admissions deadlines loom, several of Minnesota’s most popular liberal arts colleges have found clever ways around ongoing problems at the Common Application.
It’s no secret that since its launch on August 1st, the Common Application has produced one headache after another for applicants, recommenders, and colleges.
The most recent software glitch may result in damaging delays for colleges waiting to receive completed applications—as late as October 15, according to one college website.
And because colleges work under tight deadlines particularly for their early admission programs, the clog in the Common App system could have serious repercussions for the entire 2013-14 admissions season.
But smart administrators at Carleton, Macalester, and St.Olaf colleges have come up with ways to get the flow of applications started sooner rather than later.
Because they did not fall for “exclusive” arrangements marketed by the Common Application, these three schools retained the option of introducing alternative forms or applications to “kick start” the process without violating the terms of their agreements with the Common App.
Each is now requesting that applicants complete a Part 1 application form, entirely separate from the Common App, but enough to get the ball rolling for prospective students.
In fact, Carleton is offering to waive the application fee for students willing to submit basic information by completing its Part 1.
And some of these forms are really very comprehensive and could be used as the basis for at least a preliminary if not a final decision on a student’s candidacy, should the need arise.
Other Minnesota Common App members have been more aggressive in their efforts to bypass the Common Application. At this writing, Augsburg’s website makes no mention of the Common App and only provides a link to its own application.
The Gustavus Adolphus “Apply Online” webpage only provides a button for their application, although the Common Application has a link in another area of the admissions website. Hamline University provides top billing for their inhouse application, and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University offers their GET INspired application as an alternative for students not applying to other Common Application schools (is this a subliminal message?).
Here is some basic information on how to apply to seven Minnesota liberal arts colleges:
Augsburg College, Minneapolis
Hello Prospective Auggie:
We offer this Web-based application in hopes that it will make our application process as easy and convenient as possible for you.
We realize that your time is valuable, so you will receive a User Name and Password that will make it easy for you to return to work on your application over several sessions if you wish. Your information is transmitted through a secured server and is kept confidential until you submit your application. Only after you submit your application will it be available for review by our admissions staff.
Carleton College, Northfield
We encourage you to complete this form and submit it now to begin the application process. As an extra incentive, Carleton waives the application fee for those who initiate the application using this form. Once you submit this Part I, you’ll then be prompted to submit the Common Application and supporting documents to be fully considered for admission to Carleton.
By the way, Carleton participates in QuestBridge, which has a separate application that we’ll consider in lieu of the Common App. QB applicants will receive instructions from Carleton to ensure their application will be considered.
College of St. Benedict/St. John’s Univesity
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, St. Joseph and Collegeville
Consider using the CSB/SJU GET INspired Application if you are not applying to any of the other member institutions of the Common Application. The GET INspired Application is the quickest and easiest way to apply.
GET INspired Application options:
1. Apply online
2. Download a PDF version
Gustavus Adolphos College
Gustafus Adolphos College, St. Peter
If you’re a high school senior (or high school grad who hasn’t attended college yet), you can apply to Gustavus online by clicking on the red button below.
For additional details about the application process, go to our Application Process webpage. For more about applying for scholarships or need-based financial aid, see Applying for Aid. Or, connect with us.
Hamline University, Saint Paul
Complete an application and submit it to Hamline University. Online applications are automatically sent to our admission office. Alternatively, you may download, print, and fill out a paper application and mail it in to our office.
Hamline Online Application
Macalester College, Saint Paul
Beginning work on your application early will allow you time to give more attention to your essays and the submission of other materials.
A file for your application materials will be created when you submit Part I.
St. Olaf College
St. Olaf College, Northfield
IMPORTANT COMMON APPLICATION NOTE: For the 2013-2014 admissions cycle, the common application is developing and launching a new system. St. Olaf cannot currently download submitted applications. The current estimate is that we will see data on October 15, 2013. We’re trying to be patient, too — but bear with us! In the meantime, feel free to complete the Part One to ensure that you have officially begun the process at St. Olaf College.