Press Release

The Common Application Announces Early Adopters of New Transfer Application
Common App for transfer experience is tailored to meet the diverse needs of today’s transfer student population

Jennifer Dart

Arlington, VA (February 20, 2018) — While the college admission process is often associated with applicants pursuing higher education directly from high school, the reality of today’s higher ed environment is quite different. In fact, nearly 40 percent of students across all higher education sectors will transfer at least once during their education lifecycle. A report by The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center tracking students over a 6-year period notes, “Among those students who do transfer, 45 percent transfer more than once. The greatest number of transfer students come from two-year public colleges—almost 40 percent of transfers originate from these institutions.”

Today, The Common Application has announced that it has launched its early adopter program for the new Common App for transfer. Early adopter institutions include:

  • DePaul University
  • Dominican University of California
  • King’s College
  • Lynchburg College
  • Mount Holyoke College | Frances Perkins Program
  • Robert Morris University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • University of Dayton
  • Valparaiso University

“Transfer students are invaluable to the student population for all colleges and universities, however, they are often forgotten when it comes to the application process,” said Cindy Childress, Enrollment Database and Communications Coordinator, Lynchburg College (VA). “Their experiences are different than those of the freshmen, and there hasn’t been a way — before now — to make their application experience different than those of the first year students. We are very grateful that The Common App recognized this missing link in the transfer application process and has taken the lead in providing them with an application option designed to fit their needs.”

Common App members will begin the transition to the new transfer application in March with their applications going live in the 2018-2019 application cycle.

While the educational goals of transfer students often differ from traditional undergraduates, so too does the admissions process. For that reason, The Common Application, a non-profit membership organization serving more than 750 colleges and universities worldwide, set out to reimagine the transfer application process in close collaboration with member institutions and new technology partners.

“The mission of The Common Application hasn’t changed, but higher education and the students we serve have. The launch of the new transfer application advances our pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process,” said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of The Common Application. “We’re dedicated to supporting the diverse group of individuals who didn’t take the so-called traditional path to college but are determined to achieve their educational goals. The Common App and our members are just as determined to meet these applicants where they are in their lives and help them pursue their dreams.”

Transfer applicants are more likely to be first-generation students, often having to balance work, life, and education responsibilities. For the current college application year, 44.2% of transfer applicants using the Common App were the first in their families to apply to college.

Built in collaboration with Liaison International, the leading graduate and professional admissions solution provider, the new transfer application presents features and functionality that offer a welcoming solution for applicants that is thoughtful to their life story. To develop this reimagined transfer experience, The Common App convened a Transfer Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from 29 institutions, including community colleges where nearly 40% of transfer students start their higher education.

“One of the best things we can do to increase educational attainment — especially for underserved populations — is to ensure the transfer admissions process works well for everyone; we must make it a top priority,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, DePaul University (IL).

DePaul University, a founding member of The Common Application’s Transfer Advisory Committee, became an early adopter of the new Common App for transfer to further reach the large population of student veterans who transfer from local community colleges.

“DePaul is a top destination for veteran students in Chicago; we have 600 student vets on our campus, and 25% are over 24 years old,” said Jim Rohde, Assistant Director of Transfer Admission and Adult Enrollment, DePaul University (IL). “We’re excited to be an early adopter of the Common App’s new transfer application because we understand the needs of this significant and growing group of adult learners. This is the time to ensure that those who’ve served our country feel welcomed during the college admission process and are aware of their options — especially with the recent expansion of the GI Bill.”

Some of the new enhancements delivered in the Common App for transfer enable institutions to provide:

  • Targeted application experience via the Extended Profile that includes tailored pathways and programs based on age, goals, degree status, and credits earned.
  • Prerequisite coursework feature, so applicants can select courses they completed to apply toward prerequisite requirements for a given academic program.
  • Expanded document collection to centralize collection of documents, including those applicable to transfer applicants such as DD214, Joint Services Transcript, and financial transcript.
  • Tracking of experiences and achievements that allows transfer applicants to report volunteer, internship, and work experience, as well as any awards or honors they’ve accumulated outside of the classroom.
  • Common App Recommendation Portal, so applicants can choose recommender types: Academic, Professional, Personal, and deliver a personal message with deadline date to each recommender.

Additionally, with centralized transcript collection, applicants using the new transfer application need only to request transcripts from their most recent institutions – where they were previously or are currently enrolled – once, thus reducing transcript request fees and time spent completing their applications. Transcripts are easily scanned, verified and attached to the applicant’s record.

“The new Common App for transfer is a breakthrough in transforming, streamlining, and easing the complexities of the transfer admissions process,” said Transfer Advisory Committee member Margaret Omwenga, Registrar, Prince George’s Community College (MD).

To learn more, visit, follow @CommonApp, and #CommonApp.

About The Common Application

The Common Application is a not-for-profit member organization of more than 750 influential colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Since 1975, The Common Application has been committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. In 2016-2017, more than one million students, one-third of whom were first-generation, submitted over four million applications through the Common App platform. Last year, the Common App’s need-based fee waiver process saved students more than $55 million in application fees; over 250 Common App member schools have no application fees. To learn more, visit, follow @CommonApp, and #CommonApp.

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