At its annual “Member Summit” last week in northern Virginia, the Common Application announced the release of a new transfer application specifically designed to accommodate students taking alternate pathways to college.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), “traditional” students or those enrolling immediately after high school and attending college full time, represent only about 15 percent of the current undergraduate population. The remaining 85 percent, or about 15 million undergrads, includes students who begin their post-secondary careers at two-year colleges or are military and veteran students, adults returning to higher education to complete degrees or certificates, and adults beginning post-secondary education for the first time
Recognizing that these nontraditional students are very different from the teenagers ordinarily associated with the college application process, the Common App for Transfers will provide a “modern interface, an intuitive flow, and a user-friendly portal” for applying to multiple programs with one set of application materials.
“Providing a dynamic and robust application for this important, but under-recognized group of learners will promote inclusiveness and expand educational opportunity for more individuals who are seeking post-secondary education,” said Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of The Common Application.
The new application will be released in collaboration with Liaison International, a leading admissions management and enrollment marketing group with particular experience in graduate admissions management.
“We are excited to be working with Liaison on these initiatives, which will support access both by expanding the student population we serve and by providing our member colleges and universities with the data insights they need to better understand overall enrollment patterns and achieve their goals,” adds Rickard.
According to the Common App, the new transfer application will better serve returning adult students (over the age of 25 and representing 38 percent of undergraduates) and students applying from two-year programs (43 percent of all undergrads), by presenting a more streamlined and simplified application experience, as admission requirements are often different for these applicants.
The new transfer application will be available in early 2018 for an “early adopter” group of 10 to 12 colleges and universities, with a full release set for August 2018. New data analytics tools, which will provide insights about both first-year and transfer applicants, will be available this fall. To support this initiative, the Common App will be convening a Transfer Advisory Committee in early June 2017.
Along with the new Liaison partnership, the Common App recently announced the addition of nearly 40 new members as well as several innovations to the current platform including Google Drive integration, a self-reported transcript, advising and recommender enhancements, and additional Spanish language resources.
“Throughout its history, The Common Application has continuously leveraged technology to evolve from a paper-and-pencil application to an online resource and innovative application center used by more than 3 million prospective students, applicants, and recommenders annually,” said Rickard.
And the new transfer application addresses an important and growing population of students seeking ways to discover and link-up with “best fit” four-year programs.