Jenny Rickard is President & Chief Executive Officer of Common App, a not-for-profit membership organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Each year, more than one million students, one-third of whom are first-generation, apply to college through Common App’s online application. Founded in 1975, Common App serves more than 900 member colleges and universities worldwide.
Jenny has shown a strong commitment to college access as evidenced by her accomplishments as the chief enrollment officer at both the University of Puget Sound and Bryn Mawr and in admission roles at Swarthmore and New York University School of Law. Her extensive service within the national higher education community includes a wide range of roles with the College Board, Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), US Department of Education, and The Common Application Board of Directors — serving as Board President from 2007 to 2008.
Within the corporate field, Jenny was a vice president responsible for higher education product strategy at PeopleSoft. She was also a consultant for the higher education software company Datatel and started her career on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan & Co.
Since Jenny joined Common App in August of 2016, the organization has developed a long-term strategic plan and roadmap and has expanded its access initiatives, including the acquisition of Reach Higher, the college access and success campaign founded by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time in the White House, and the development of a new application system for transfer and adult students.
Jenny serves on the board of directors for the Posse Foundation and College Possible. She is an advisory board member for the National Education Equity Lab and Liaison GradCAS, a centralized application for graduation admission, and she currently sits on the American Council on Education’s Washington Higher Education Secretariat.
Jenny received a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania; a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University, Stern School of Business; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Swarthmore College.
"The Common Application is a proven engine for advancing college access. I believe deeply in the transformative effect that higher education has on individuals and our society. I’m committed to expanding access to such an experience and supporting my colleagues and their institutions as we all navigate the increasingly dynamic and complex enrollment landscape."