Common App changes that students need to know
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- August 12, 2021
- Undergraduate Students
The 2021-2022 Common App features key changes. Common App allows students to streamline their application process when applying to many colleges both nationally and internationally.
“The Common App is the most widely used way students apply to college,” said Julie Zulewski, dean of enrollment at Daemen College. “It is important for high school seniors to be aware of these changes, so that they are as prepared as possible.
“The changes also affect transfer students. I encourage students to look into them as they begin their process of switching institutions,” added Zulewski.
Increase in inclusivity
The Common App college application now features new questions to make it more inclusive for transgender applicants.
- Students have the option to share their preferred first name. They may also select multiple or add a pronoun set.
- In addition, the term “legal sex” replaces the term “sex.”
There are also a few changes to some of the citizen-related questions on the Common App.
- This includes the replacement of the citizenship response “Other (non-US)” with separate options for international students and undocumented/DACA students.
New essay prompt
The application includes a new essay prompt. “Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?” the prompt reads.
As the Common App website states, “The prompt is inspired by scientific research on gratitude and kindness, specifically the benefits of writing about the positive influence of other people in our lives.”
- The application no longer requires information on students’ high school disciplinary records.
- It also does not ask veterans about their discharges.
- Additionally, geography questions are no longer included or are optional.
- Parent and sibling questions, as well as questions about parent occupation and education are also optional.
A word of advice
“Juniors—keep all of your upcoming college admissions tasks on your radar,” said Zulewski, of Daemen College. “Work on your Common App early and often.”
Additional colleges included in system
More than 60 new colleges are on the application system. These are in addition to the already 900-plus member institutions.
New members include Claflin University, Florida A&M University, Florida Memorial University, Lincoln University (in Pennsylvania) and South Carolina State University, among others.
Contact the Daemen College Admissions Office for help with your admissions process.