During an era in which educators, parents, and adults alike are working tirelessly to decrease the amount of free time teenagers dedicate to the Web, The Common Application organization intends to utilize this zest for texting, tweeting, and social media (as a whole) by expanding their platform to meet students’ needs, including applying for college, exploring financial aid options and scholarships, and speaking with a virtual counselor to answer confusing and lingering questions. Thus, according to (and pulled from) the official website (www.commonapp.org), exciting enhancements are being made for the 2017- 2018 year, such as:
- 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. In addition, 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 advisor.
- 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.
- 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.