Serving Those Who Have Served: Common App's Commitment to Veterans

Nov 11, 2018

Serving Those Who Have Served: Common App's Commitment to Veterans

The transition from military to civilian life can be an exciting time for those who have served our country. It’s an opportunity to explore new career goals, and apply the skills they’ve learned in the armed forces to other areas. However, it can also be daunting to figure out what to do next. College, or some form of post-secondary education, is a logical next step in helping many veterans reach their long-term goals. Plus, with the recent expansion of the G.I. Bill, it is more critical than ever for colleges and universities to be able to communicate to active military and veteran populations about the options available to them. However, according to the U.S. Department of Education, more than half (52 percent) of veterans going to college will do so while supporting a family, and many (42 percent) will also be balancing full-time jobs while enrolled.

How can military veterans balance the demands of everyday life while navigating the college admissions process?

This week, in recognition of Veteran’s Day, we’re proud to announce our commitment to veterans at The College Board’s “Improving Opportunities for Military Veterans” conference, a conference that will bring together higher education and veteran leaders to generate new ideas and offer practical guidance on how to enroll more veterans at high-graduation-rate, well-resourced colleges across the United States.

As part of this week’s convening, The Common Application, a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 800 colleges and universities around the world, has  committed to expanding its efforts to reduce barriers to post-secondary education for active military and veterans. The Common App recently introduced a new transfer application that streamlines the process for active military and veterans to apply to college.

The new Common App for transfer provides a targeted application experience that allows for tailored pathways based on an applicant’s age, academic goals, degree attainment, and employment history, including military service. Through the centralized document collection of the platform, current military and veteran applicants are able to more easily share relevant documentation about their service experience, and provide supporting materials such as their DD214 (Certificate of Discharge from Active Duty) and Joint Services Transcript.

To support active military and veterans navigating the college application process, the Common App will create a new set of resources and tools to support student veterans as they make the transition from active duty service to civilian life and applying to college. These resources will:

* Help connect military veterans to practical, hands-on information about the college application process;

* Allow them to learn about institutions that offer programs and fee-waivers for veterans; 

* Discover member institutions with no application fees or other fee waivers;

* Hear first-hand accounts from other veterans that have gone through the process; and

* Enable them to best present their record of service with college admissions officers. 

In addition, through the Reach Higher initiative, started by former First Lady Michelle Obama, the Common Application will lift up and celebrate stories of veterans who have successfully navigated their way from military life to and through a post-secondary credential.  

We look forward to sharing more details on this initiative in the future. For more information, please visit commonapp.org/veterans.