The Common App Expands Student Population through New Transfer Application

May 10, 2017

The Common App Expands Student Population through New Transfer Application

For more than 40 years, The Common Application has been committed to access, equity, and integrity in the admissions process. With that mission always in mind, we are working to increase educational opportunities for all students, regardless of their path to college. The Common Application will release a new transfer application to expand access for today's evolving students while also providing an even more diverse applicant pool to our member colleges and universities.

The new Common App for transfer will provide a modern interface, an intuitive flow, and a user-friendly portal for applying to multiple programs with one set of application materials. It will help transfer students discover the breadth of opportunities available at participating Common App member institutions. Students will have access to fee waivers when applying via the new Common App for transfer.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “traditional” students, defined as “enrolling immediately after high school and attending full time,” represent only around 15% of current undergraduates. The remaining 85% - about 15 million undergraduates - are a diverse group that includes students who begin their higher education career at two-year colleges, military and veteran students, adults returning to higher education to complete degrees or certificates, and adults beginning post-secondary education for the first time.

“Providing a dynamic and robust application for this important, but under-recognized group of learners will promote inclusiveness and expand educational opportunity for more individuals who are seeking post-secondary education,” said Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of The Common Application.

The new Common App for transfer will be released in collaboration with Liaison International, the leading graduate and professional admissions solution provider. The Common Application and Liaison have compatible and like-minded goals in enrollment management for higher education supporting and serving different yet complementary segments of the admissions landscape. The new Common App for transfer as well as the new visual analytics tool stem from the efforts of several member advisory committees.

This new transfer application will not only better serve returning adult students (over the age of 25, representing 38% of undergraduates) and students applying from community colleges (43% of all undergraduates), it will also facilitate the process for recommenders and member institutions. The new Common App for transfer will present a more streamlined and simplified application experience as admission requirements are often different for these applicants. Such flexibility will prove to be an essential and lasting benefit, as the student population is aging, and the share of adult learners is expected to grow another 23% by 2019.

“Throughout its history, The Common Application has continuously leveraged technology to evolve from a paper-and-pencil application to an online resource and innovative application center used by more than 3 million prospective students, applicants, and recommenders annually,” said Rickard. "By offering this tailored transfer application, we're ensuring that everyone - a returning veteran, an employee attending college part-time, a student parent completing her degree, a commuter at a two-year college - can pursue higher education and fulfill their dreams."

The new Common App for transfer will be available in early 2018 for an early adopter group of 10 to 12 Common App member colleges and universities, with a full release set for August 2018 - available to all members of The Common Application. The Common App will be convening a Transfer Advisory Committee in early June 2017.