The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

Problems with paper

Switching to paperless application will save money

If print isn’t dead, then it is certainly dying. It’s time the University went completely electronic with its admissions process.

Each year the UNC admissions department sends out between 60,000 and 70,000 paper applications to prospective students.

These high school seniors have not requested the documents, but by sending paper applications the University hopes to lure them to Chapel Hill.

This mail blitz would be a nice ploy to improve the student body if it worked. But the problem with it is that it doesn’t.

Last year, only 2 percent of the applications submitted were paper versions; the rest were submitted through the University’s Web site.

With such a low tally for the number of printed applications being submitted, the University is right to reevaluate its current strategy.

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Stephen Farmer said that his office will study the idea of abandoning the paper application sent to every prospective student.

The change could save the University around $30,000, Farmer said.

It is time for such measures because the printed application has become all but obsolete.

If UNC stops preemptively mailing applications, students without access to a computer will still be able to request a paper version.

The next logical step would be for the University to adopt the Common Application.

The Common Application is a student’s one-step approach for applying to nearly 400 universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

Rather than having to go through the mind-numbing forms and a myriad of essay questions on many applications, students using the Common Application only have to fill out one form and essay set along with a few supplementary questions for different schools.

Farmer indicated that UNC might consider switching to the Common Application in the future.

Let’s hope that time comes sooner than later.

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