Beth & Tim Manners
Georgetown Bulldogs its Application Process
The Georgetown Voice: Alongside MIT, Georgetown is one of the two top private universities that refuses to use the Common Application. This decision has stirred controversy, since some argue that Georgetown’s separate application hampers accessibility and subjects applicants to additional stress.
Charles Deacon (COL ’64), dean of Georgetown undergraduate admissions since 1972, believes that the university’s application advances a “student-centered” approach, facilitating close student-university relationships. Its idiosyncrasies include four supplemental essays with page rather than word limits, a shorter extracurricular profile than the Common App, and alumni interviews for every applicant.
In Deacon’s opinion, the Common App can’t provide the same kind of intimacy. He also sees the Common App as a tool colleges use to grow their applicant pool and therefore deflate their acceptance rates, rather than evaluate applicants accurately. Instead, he wants to prioritize recruiting exceptional students who truly fit the community, and he believes Georgetown’s specific application is critical to that aim. According to Deacon, the separate application is itself an indicator of “demonstrated interest.”
To Aaron Chan (SFS ’26), the application makes the process more confusing without improving the quality of the student body. “The Common App’s user interface is a lot easier to navigate and a lot more direct than Georgetown’s,” Chan said. “Georgetown’s looks like it was made in the 2000s and never updated.”
Once students submit their applications, four admissions officers each assign an application a score on a 10-point scale, adding up to 40 points. Applicants who receive eights or higher across the board stand a high chance of being admitted. After all applications have been scored, the officers begin admitting the highest scorers until no spots are left.
According to Georgetown’s Common Data Set (CDS), a yearly report on the university’s admissions trends and policies, academic performance is given the most weight when scoring an application. Extracurriculars and the interview follow close behind, while factors such as first-generation status, legacy affiliation, and ethnicity fall into the lowest-weight category.