An aerial shot of Lafayette's newly renovated QuadEaston, Pa. – Consistent with its commitment to excellence, access, and inclusion, Lafayette College is announcing that on the Common App, which high school students around the world use to apply to college, it will now only consider up to six activities rather than the 10 available through the application form.

“We want to let students shine and not send them a message that holds them back or creates unneeded anxiety,” says Lafayette President Nicole Hurd. “The current application, which allows for up to 10 activities, can suggest to our students and families that quantity matters more than quality, that getting into college is about filling in blanks. Suggesting that students should pursue 10 activities while in high school and producing a great academic record does not make good sense to us. We want to make it clear to students that what matters to us are the activities and passions in which they are deeply invested.”

Common App, a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 1,000 diverse institutions of higher education, launched its 2023-24 college application form yesterday. 

As a partner in the movement to increase access and opportunity, Common App is dedicated to removing barriers to college admissions and expanding the number of students who pursue higher education. Lafayette will work with Common App to share its findings with the limiting of student activity submissions to no more than six. 

“While the ‘activities’ section of the Common App is a great place for students to show colleges how they contribute to their families, school, and community, the focus should always be on the substance of the activities rather than the number,” says Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of Common App. “Common App data show that there are stark and substantial differences in the total number of activities applicants report across nearly every measure of race and income level. We appreciate Lafayette College’s effort to create a more equitable admissions process by inspiring applicants to focus on only sharing their most meaningful activities.”

Lafayette’s decision is part of its commitment to making college more accessible and the process more inclusive for students.

“We believe that access and opportunity are about more than a strong financial aid and scholarship program,” says Lafayette Vice President for Enrollment Management Forrest Stuart. “When we evaluate a student’s readiness for Lafayette, the depth of activities is more helpful than the raw number. For example, some students have ample opportunities to be involved in a number of activities. This is great. However, more and more students find their ability to spread themselves across a number of activities to be limited due to family, economic, and other obligations. As a college dedicated to helping students find affirmation and agency through this stressful application process, we are excited for students to share with us what matters most to them.”

More information on enrolling at Lafayette can be found by exploring Lafayette Admissions online.

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