The Top Colleges that use the Common App

What is the common app?

Partnered with universities, private and public colleges across all 50 states and 20 countries, The Common Application (aka Common App) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping make the college application process more efficient and simplified for students.

During the 2018-2019 school year, they helped submit more than 5.5 million student applications, assisted in getting over $80 million in fee waivers for students, and even helped over 300,000 first-generation submit applications.

For more information on how the process actually works, click here.

The top 20 schools that use The Common App:

1. Stanford University

Located in Stanford, CA, this school is known for its Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Business Schools. Stanford also offers competitive financial aid packages, the average need-based aid package is around $58,500 for freshmen.

2. Yale University

Located in New Haven, CT, this school is known for its drama and music programs. Yale also has top-ranked Law, Management, Medicine, Art, Nursing schools. They offer need-based financial aid packages averaging $57,900 per student.

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3. Harvard University

Located in Cambridge, MA, Harvard is known for its top-ranked Business and Medical Schools in addition to their highly ranked Education, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law, and Government schools. The school offers need-based financial aid averaging $53,000 per student.

4. Princeton University

Located in Princeton, NJ, Princeton is known for its highly-ranked graduate programs in Public and International Affairs, Engineering and Applied Sciences. The school offers need-based financial aid packages averaging $56,000, which is enough to cover 100% of tuition costs.

5. Duke University

Located in Durham, NC, this school is known for its Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Public Policy, and Nursing Schools. Duke has a fierce rivalry against the UNC Tar Heels and is known for its basketball team, which has placed in the top 5 of most wins in college basketball history. They offer need-based financial aid averaging $52,200 per student.

6. Brown University

Located in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown is known for its English, History, and Medical programs. The average need-based financial aid package is $50,200 per student.

7. Columbia University

Located in New York City, NY, this school is known for its Engineering and Applied Sciences, and General Studies programs. It has highly ranked graduate programs for Business, Law, and Medical Schools. It offers an average need-based financial aid package is $52,000 per student.

8. University of Pennsylvania

Located in Philadelphia, PA, this school is known for its Business, Education, Engineering, Law and Medical programs. The average need-based financial aid package is $52,500 per student.

9. Rice University

Located in Houston, TX, Rice University is known for its Social Studies, Humanities, and Natural Sciences schools in addition to its Business and Engineering graduate programs. The average need-based financial aid is $44,000 per student.

10.  Northwestern University

Located in Evanston, IL, this school is known for its Management, Education, Social Policy, Law, Medical, Engineering, and Biological Sciences programs. The average need-based financial aid package is up to $40,000 per student.

11.  Vanderbilt University

Located in Nashville, TN, this school is known for its College of Education and Human Development, Graduate School of Management, Engineering, Law, Medical, and Nursing graduate programs. The average need-based financial aid package is $49,400 per student.

12.  Pomona College

Located in Claremont, CA, this school was ranked #5 in 2020 for National Liberal Arts Colleges. The average need-based financial aid package is $52,000 per student.

13.  Washington University in St. Louis

Located in St. Louis, MO, this school is known for its graduate programs in Social Work, Business, Law, Medicine, Visual Arts, Engineering, and Education. The average financial aid package is $35,000 per student.

14.  Dartmouth College

Located in Hanover, NH, this school is known for its sports programs, in fact, 25% of all students participate in at least 1 sport. They have highly ranked programs in Business, Engineering, and Medicine. The average financial aid package is $52,500 per student.

15.  California Institute of Technology

Located in Pasadena, CA, Cal Tech is known for its science and engineering programs. They even receive grants from NASA because of their research. The average financial aid package is $35,000 per student.      

16.  University of Notre Dame

Located in Notre Dame, IN, this school is well known for its highly ranked Business, Law, and Architecture schools. The school also has a consistently strong football team. The average financial aid package is $46,000 per student.

17.  University of Chicago

Located in Chicago, IL, the University of Chicago is known for its Business, Law, Medicine, and Public Policy schools. Its financial aid packages offer 100% coverage to each student, although the aid will be offered in a mix of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.

18.  University of Southern California

Located in Los Angeles, CA, USC is known for its legendary football team and its Business, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Social Work schools. The average financial aid package is $44,300 per student.

19.  Cornell University

Located in Ithaca, NY, this school is known for its Arts and Sciences School and its Agriculture and Life Sciences School. They also have highly ranked graduate programs in Management, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Hotel Administration. The average financial aid package is $44,200 per student.

20.  Bowdoin College

Located in Brunswick, ME, this school is known for its school of Liberal Arts. The average financial aid package is $47,500 per student.