5 Ways The Common App Redesign Will Improve College Access

Yesterday, the frequent Application –the nonprofit organization that streamlines the college application process for many students–launched the redesigned version of their platform. Students applying to school this season (and advisers and recommenders trying to assist those students) will have a simpler time in a few critical ways. Some of those ways are treated somewhat better than others, but complete this redesign is decidedly a step in the perfect direction.

1 — Improved performance on mobile

Among the changes to the Common App is enhanced user experience and functionality on mobile devices. This is not just convenient–it’s crucial to improving access for millions of students around the nation. The technology access gap is a major barrier for countless students. Many pupils do not own a pc at home, or their household has a computer but no internet access. In 2015, only 61 percent of kids had access to a computer with internet at home, also this accessibility gap especially impacts students in rural areas and Hispanic and black students. However, 89% have access to your tablet or smartphone.

2 –Ban The Box–no default Necessary question on criminal history

The first year, this year marks The frequent Program doesn’t by default ask students about their criminal background. Member institutions (schools etc) will still have the ability to ask students this question should they choose, just as they are able to ask other questions that are supplemental, but it will no longer be requested and contained by default. This is in keeping with the recommendation of this Obama-era Education Department, which urged colleges to consider carefully whether to ask the question and to provide more context for pupils.

3 — Improved clearer and language, easier-to-understand port

One of the smallest but Modifications that are useful is character limitations for action descriptions. Most students don’t have any concept they have 150 characters to explain each action, and end up writing too-short descriptions or getting cut off unexpectedly. They’ve also made re-ordering those actions easier and more prominent. There is a lot more (and clearer) explanation throughout the process, for example, section of fee waivers. This will truly help pupils who don’t have much access to guidance counselors. There is also more information for advisers to be sure that they’re better prepared to assist students through the procedure. I really believe this is an important area for the frequent App to concentrate on, as so many high school guidance counselors have obsolete advice and are each trying to help, on average, two hundred and eighty four pupils.

4. Integration with other providers.

The Program has really made An effort to associate with different organizations with similar objectives, including Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, whose outreach campaigns and resources are”now housed at the Common App. There are numerous other organizations and tools which are either integrated into the website (such as ScholarSnapp), or linked to (like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s price calculator) or, a bit confusingly, incorporated into the site at times and linked to externally at others (such as you visit campus excursions ). It is great that they’re providing students access to numerous tools, but I will definitely see students getting overwhelmed.

5 — More information about each college

This ranks at 5 since, to be Honest, although the new member faculty pages are amazing and provide A great deal of information about the colleges, they are completely divorced from The actual program. Although on  you will find Lots of ways to explore and hunt for colleges to apply to and when You select the college you get lots of relevant information, once you’re Inside the that theCollege Search” tab takes you to What seems like a completely separate database with much more limited Ways to seek out colleges and much less information as soon as you do pick The school (pretty much only the application requirements). You will find Some links to get more information about the school–but not one of those Take you into the frequent App’s own page for your own school. Having aided Students through this process repeatedly, I have doubts that they will Spend time on .

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