Common App Revises Application Questions on Sex and Gender
As a part of an ongoing effort to revolutionize the college application and create a more equitable admissions process, Common App today announced a series of changes to the questions on its application focused on sex and gender. Beginning in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, the questions related to gender identity will be revised to better reflect the identities of the more than one million students who use Common App each year.
"In order to fulfill the promise of higher education as a pathway to economic opportunity, it's incumbent upon institutions, advocates, and stakeholders to eliminate any potential barriers that may stand in the way for students from all backgrounds."
"These shifts represent the next step in an ongoing effort to create an equitable, just, and inclusive application for all students -- no matter how they choose to identify," said Jenny Rickard, president and chief executive officer of Common App. "In order to fulfill the promise of higher education as a pathway to economic opportunity, it's incumbent upon institutions, advocates, and stakeholders to eliminate any potential barriers that may stand in the way for students from all backgrounds."
According to 2019 research from the Trevor Project, 54 percent of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide in the last year and LGBTQ+ students of color are twice as likely as their straight white cis counterparts to drop out of school. In an effort to ensure that the application process itself will not undermine LGBTQ+ students' chances of attending college, Common App will add a question to provide applicants with the option to share their preferred first name, added a pronoun question that gives students the option to multi-select or add their pronoun set, and shift the presentation of a question from "Sex" to "Legal Sex" to reduce student confusion.
These changes are the latest in Common App's effort to revolutionize the application process, which have also included the removal of a question about school discipline and updates to questions about applicants' citizenship. Common App, which is used by more than 900 colleges and universities around the county, will put these new changes into effect for the upcoming 2021-2022 application cycle.