For the 2020-2021 application year, transfer applicants will have the option to select one of seven current Common App prompts to guide their writing. Members will have full control over whether or not to make this option available to their applicants, and it can be in place of or in addition to any writing you may already require.

This decision comes from feedback we have received from our member institutions, transfer advisors and applicants over the course of the past two years. In the December essay prompts survey, we asked respondents whether one transfer essay prompt was sufficient. Here’s what we heard:

  • 54% of members felt the one prompt was sufficient; 41% indicated applicants should be able to choose from multiple prompts
  • 51% of counselors and advisors supported multiple prompts
  • 64% of students supported multiple prompts

With the number of community college students using the Common App transfer application continuing to rise (currently more than 40% of all unique transfer applicants), we want to ensure that students see the personal statement as an opportunity to share their personal story beyond their academics and reason for transferring.

To support all transfer applicants, here are the adjustments we are committed to making for 2020-2021:

  1. Update the transfer personal statement prompt to align with the first-year essay prompts
  2. Improve instructional text
  3. Add an ‘Educational Path’ question to the member question bank so that it will continue to be available for members who wish to ask it
  4. Add an ‘Additional Information’ question to the common portion of the application

Members will continue to have the flexibility they need to gather responses from applicants in a way that works for your institution.