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In With the New...

August 5, 2013

By now, you're probably aware that The Common Application launched a new version of their application on August 1st. There has been much anticipation for the new application, not only by students and guidance counselors, but also by all the admissions officers whose colleges use the application. This is only the fourth time that The Common Application has gone through a major overhaul, and considering the amount of information the application collects, this is not small feat. Add to that the more than 500 member schools of different shapes and sizes that partner with The Common Application, and you have to wonder how it all comes together.

Like many colleges, we've been working over the spring and summer with the staff at The Common Application to get Pomona's information updated, tested, and ready for student use. We're still tinkering with some items and hope to have our information fully accessible to applicants soon. (If you're interested in knowing the essay questions on the Pomona writing supplement for first-year applicants, you can find them here on the Admissions webpage.)

You should know that although there's a new Common Application platform, how we evaluate applications at Pomona isn't changing. In fact, most of the forms that you, your teachers, and your guidance counselors are completing via The Common Application are the same ones that students have been submitting for years as part of the admissions process.

Nonetheless, I know that the college search process can be quite stressful and demanding, so here are a few things to consider as you as you put your application together.

  • Take time to reflect on who you are and what's important to you, and make sure that's represented in your application. As we read through your application, we're trying to figure out which interests excite, drive and motivate you. This is true for both your academic passions and extra-curricular commitments.
  • Let your essays transmit your voice, your ideas and your originality. Your essays really do matter! They introduce you to us and set the tone for your application.
  • Pick recommenders that can write letters that reflect your talents and aspirations. Our reading and selection process is quite individualized, and as we read through your application, we're trying to put together a cohesive story about you and ascertain your academic potential. Obviously, you play a big role in providing this information to us through your essays, and maybe an interview, but there's also a lot of supporting information that we're sorting through from your school, teachers and guidance counselor. All of this information is carefully considered before we make a final decision on your candidacy.

As you work on completing your application and writing your essays during the next few weeks and months, know that the time you spend on your application is a worthwhile investment. There's no need to rush - or procrastinate - the important thing is to be pleased with what you put together. Good luck with the process!

Art Rodriguez
Senior Associate Dean and Director of Admissions

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