The Common Application,which is a universal form that allows students to apply to multiple colleges and universities, will be implementing some surprising new changes to the essay rules. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the Common App will be going web-only in 2013, and also will eliminate the “topic of your choice” essay option. Students will be forced to choose a prompt from the ones presented on the form, and these four or five topics will change from year to year.
The new form will debut on Aug. 1, 2013.
The new Common App will also be a stickler for essay lengths. The 250-word minimum word count will be enforced, and students who exceed the 500-word maximum will receive an error message.