Key Innovations for 2017-2018 Common Application

There are some changes on the horizon for the Common App! Many of the changes for next year’s application stem from feedback the CA received from admissions offices, high schools, and CBO counselors.

This release was a bit light on information regarding how the changes will be rolled out, for example, what is a limited release? Word on the street is some colleges will be using the courses and grades feature on a trial basis, but those schools are unknown at this time. I am very curious what schools will integrate these changes or integrate them on a trial basis, when some of the changes will take place, etc. Seems like it could be confusing for students, parents, counselors, and others who helps students with their apps. I will be updating this post and re-posting once more information is released, quite possbily in May and June.

Google Drive Integration: Students will now be able to easily access and upload documents, resumes, and school assignments while completing the Common App, and the college-specific sections of the application. We know that many school districts have adopted Google Docs and Google Drive to enable their students and teachers to create, collaborate, and access shared documents from any internet connected device. We also recognize that some students do not always have personal computers at home but use Google Drive on school or library computers to store their documents. We want to meet students where they are. By using the systems that they are already using, we are making the process more accessible for students.

CBO, Advising, and Recommender Enhancements: Students receiving support from advising and community-based organizations will be able to work with those counselors just as they work with their school-based counselors and teachers within the application. These individuals will then be able to manage their caseloads and view student progress within the Common App system. Also, any student who wishes to do so will be able to share a view of their in-progress application with their school counselor, CBO counselor, or other advisors.

Courses & Grades: Many students are required to submit self-reported high school academic records when applying to some colleges and universities. With Courses & Grades, students will be able to fill out their self-reported transcript information as part of their Common Application. By integrating the Courses & Grades section into the Common App, those students who are already sending this information will be able to complete and submit it with their Common App, making the process of self-reporting transcripts more standardized and streamlined for students, counselors, and colleges.

Courses & Grades was developed from the feedback of member institutions, high school students, and counselors. The Common Application hosted a series of student and counselor focus groups with beta testing to determine how to make the self-reported transcript process accessible and efficient. Courses & Grades will launch in limited release on August 1, 2017.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but this is the one that was provided on the CA site:

Spanish Language Resources: Key information for using the Common App will be translated so that students, parents and other family members who speak Spanish as their first language can better understand the college admission process, including applying for financial aid and receiving virtual mentoring. This new tool will also benefit counselors who will be working with these families and will need Common App materials in Spanish.

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