What’s New in the 2018-19 Common App?

Jun 26, 2018

What’s New in the 2018-19 Common App?

To help you prepare for the August 1 launch of the 2018-19 Common App, we want to highlight some changes we’ve made to make your experience with us even better! Check out these updates for the first-year application:

Improvements to Courses & Grades

Last year, we added Courses & Grades to the Common App tab because some colleges ask students to submit self-reported high school academic records with their applications. We wanted to make this process more standardized and streamlined for students and their counselors. With Courses & Grades, students can fill out their self-reported transcript as part of their Common App and send to those member colleges that require the information.  

This year, we improved Courses & Grades to make it even easier for those students who need to use it (and help students know when they don’t need to fill it out). In the upcoming application, students can't enter the section unless they’re applying to a member college that requires Courses & Grades.

The qualifying questions to begin Courses & Grades have also been simplified to help prevent students from incorrectly opting out of completing Courses & Grades. Now, if a student has a college on their My Colleges list that requires Courses & Grades, they only have to answer two questions to see if Courses & Grades is a fit for them: whether they can obtain a copy of their transcripts and if that transcript shows grades for completed courses. If a student answers no to either of these questions, they won’t be required to complete this section and will not be penalized by any colleges.

Other Enhancements

* A more inclusive experience: In the Demographics section of the Profile tab, students identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native will be able to select the specific tribe in which they are enrolled. For those students not enrolled, they’ll be able to type a short response describing their tribal descendancy.

* Better protection of privacy: When a student chooses to include their social security number in the application, that number will be masked on screens, in preview, and on PDFs. If a counselor or advisor has permission to view a PDF preview of a student’s application, that social security number will be masked to them.

* Understanding control of personal data: Our privacy policy is updated to reflect the new requirements of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you're a student, school representative, recommender, or other individual located in a European Union country, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, and you provide The Common Application with your personal data, you have new privacy rights under the GDPR. Now, when creating or rolling over a Common App account, students and recommenders will be asked if they’re located in an EU country. If yes, required consent will be collected.

* Want a preview of these upcoming enhancements? Counselors, advisors, and anyone supporting students as they apply to college should watch this recorded webinar to learn more about what’s new with the 2018-19 Common App. You’ll also hear about all the free resources available to you like Common App Ready, the Virtual Counselor, and Common App onTrack, the mobile companion to a student’s Common App account.

* Interested in the new Common App for transfer (also launching on August 1)? Join us on July 24 (2-3 p.m. ET) for the "Introduction to the new Common App for transfer" webinar with Q&A.