Nationwide, 456 schools are part of the Common Application Consortium, including Ivy League schools, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Public universities were invited in 2000 and more than 50 have joined, including North Carolina, Virginia and, last year, Michigan.
This year 750,000 students will submit 3 million Common Applications online, according to Rob Killion, executive director of the Arlington, Va.-based consortium.
Schools pay the consortium a $750 membership fee per year, plus $4 per application if they use the Common App exclusively or $4.75 if they allow students to use a separate school-specific application. DePaul University in Chicago, for example, allows students to submit either.
The University of Illinois already has 31,000 applicants for next fall, so the cost would have been $124,000 to $147,500 if it had used the Common App this season.