Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

The simple answer is yes. If there is any difference--and there is no evidence to indicate that so long as both are offered one is favored over the other—it would seem that on line would be the preferred, an inference that can be made by the fact that many schools waive the fee if you apply on line. Ultimately, if both application options are offered then there is no difference and a student does their own chances no harm by whichever choice they make.

Angela Conley
College Admission Expert VentureForth

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Usually, paper applications are only frustrating if the college/university in question explicitly asked for students to use an online portal. Paper or via online internet are regarded equally, as long as you are responsive to the directions provided. Most institutions of merit use an online portal, though all recognize the digital divide which indicates that some 20-40% of Americans (and even more for other countries) lack access to the web. Follow instructions! If the institution in question asks for paper - do so. If, as is the case with most, the college's website says use an online portal, then either do so or contact the institution in question and explain your constraints.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Probably, but no one knows for sure, unless it's stated on the college's website.

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Absolutely! If a college gives you the option of submitting either and electronic OR a paper application then there will not be any difference in how it is reviewed. However, if a college indicates that you must submit your application online you should NOT print it out and mail it in. Doing this may mean additional work for them and shows that you are unwilling to follow directions...not a great way to begin the application process.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Yes. In this green and technological age, many colleges no longer even accept paper applications. Your application will be viewed in exactly the same way, whether it's composed in pen and ink or on a computer screen.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Yes.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Most colleges prefer online applications.

Shoshana Krieger

Do colleges view online applications the same as paper applications?

Most colleges no longer accept paper applications and will only accept online applications. However, for colleges that still accept paper applications, there is no difference in how paper and online applications are reviewed.