This Week in College News: Big Changes for the Common App in 2013

common app ipad 2013By Sam Coren & Taylor Cotter Staff

Every week StudentAdvisor compiles the top stories in college news. Here are some of the biggest stories that made the headlines this week: 

Common App to be overhauled for 2013.

The Common Application, the all-purpose college application accepted by 456 colleges and universities, is planning a major redesign for 2013. The Common App, which handles three million applications, will be revamped to process more student information. Students will be able to only view one essay question at a time, minimizing the risk of losing all answers. Common App is also considering offering a team of college counselors to answer questions students may have about their applications. Additionally, the new website will have less stifling word limits and likely be accessible from iPads and tablets.

Syracuse student returns to school after 5-month expulsion over Facebook post.

Matthew Werenczak, an education student at Syracuse University who was expelled in September 2011, returned to school this week. Werenczak was expelled for making a Facebook post about a comment he overheard while student teaching from member of the city’s Concerned Citizens Action Program, who allegedly said he wished the school would hire more teachers from historically black colleges. Werenczak wrote on Facebook that he found the comment racist. Werenczak was expelled and pulled from his student teaching program for offensive and unprofessional comments. After raising first-amendment issues with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Werenczak had been readmitted to the education program and can resume student teaching this spring.

Apple offers iPad textbooks for high school students.

At Thursday’s keynote speech, Apple unveiled iBooks 2, an iPad app that will offer iPad specific textbooks from McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The textbooks will offer dynamic features like diagrams, photos, video clips and 3-D objects. Students will have the ability to virtually highlight text and use search functions to look up terms. Additionally, Apple offered an app called iBooks Author, which allows teachers to create their own interactive textbooks particular to their courses. iBooks textbooks are currently only available for high school students. We can only hope iBooks 2 will make its way to the college quad soon.

Florida Public College Presidents Want Higher Tuition Rate for STEM Students

Presidents at the University of Florida and Florida State University are encouraging law makers to allow colleges to charge higher, market based tuition rates for students enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs. In a time of tight education spending and budget cuts, lawmakers and college presidents are considering the benefits of market-based tuition for degree programs that have higher funding costs.

Have a college news story that you think should be featured on This Week in College News? Send suggestions to content[at]

Photo: UBC Library


Tags: , , , , , ,