The Common Application’s Transfer Advisory Committee Launched to Reimagine Transfer Admissions and Technology

Jun 22, 2017

ARLINGTON, Va. (June 22, 2017) – Building on The Common Application’s legacy of innovation, the leading college access platform announced last month that it will release a new Common App for transfer students in collaboration with Liaison International, the leading graduate and professional admissions solution provider. To reimagine an admission process that will better serve and support transfer students and adults seeking a college degree, The Common App has convened a Transfer Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from 23 diverse and distinctive institutions as well as organizations with expertise in the transfer space.

“When you think of today’s college student, do you picture a recent high school graduate? In reality he has a full-time job and a family. She’s a returning military veteran seeking a new career,” said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of The Common Application. “The work of the Transfer Advisory Committee is pivotal in designing personalized pathways and delivering clear guidance to earning a college degree for this significant but under-recognized student group. During our initial committee discussions in Boston last week, we focused on creating an application process that addresses the current challenges for transfer students as well as the barriers institutions face in engaging and enrolling these applicants.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “traditional” students, those who enroll in college immediately after high school and attend full-time, represent only 15 percent of current undergraduates. The remaining 85 percent include adult learners, veterans, and those applying from community colleges, among others.

“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 at DePaul University.

Through the new Common App for transfers, there will be one place for students to go to learn about and apply for transfer admission. The application will also be tailored to acknowledge their individual circumstances and experiences.

For example, a student transferring directly from a community college might need to provide different information as part of their application than a military veteran or a returning adult learner.

“Our first committee meeting was inspiring — brainstorming with admission leadership from other Massachusetts institutions as well as officers of influential colleges and universities from campuses across the country,” said Kerry Boyd, Director of the Transfer Center at UMASS Boston. “As a Common App member, I’m proud we’ve ignited this effort and look forward to continuing the work on behalf of transfers.”

By streamlining the application process and presenting a dynamic interface that will adjust to each student’s background and academic goals, The Common App is working to remove many of the current roadblocks to transfer and enable more students to achieve their aspirations.

The response to The Common App’s commitment in enhancing transfer enrollment has been enthusiastic, with more than 60 institutions requesting to participate in the Transfer Advisory Committee. Together, the colleges and universities that were ultimately selected represent the rich diversity of American higher education and come from various regions of the U.S. Additional institutions as well as community colleges and student focus groups will be engaged as a crucial part of the process.

“There is a natural alignment between the dynamic requirements of the Common App for transfer students and Liaison’s current technology offerings,” said George Haddad, CEO and founder of Liaison. “Admission officers require more than an application but a platform of combined software and services that allow them to be responsive to the ever-changing needs in higher education.”

The new Common App for transfers will be available in early 2018 for an early adopter group of 10 to 12 Common App member colleges and universities, with a full release to all members of The Common Application set for August 2018.

Transfer Advisory Committee

  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Boston College (MA)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • DePaul University (IL)
  • George Mason University (VA)
  • Mount Holyoke (MA)
  • National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS)
  • at University of North Georgia (GA)
  • New York University (NY)
  • Northeastern University (MA)
  • Spelman College (GA)
  • Stevenson University (MD)
  • The Aspen Institute (Washington, DC)
  • The George Washington University (Washington DC)
  • Trinity University (TX)
  • Tufts University (MA)
  • UMASS Amherst (MA)
  • UMASS Boston (MA)
  • UMASS Lowell (MA)
  • University of Richmond (VA)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • USC (CA)
  • William & Mary (VA)
  • Williams College (MA)
  • Wilmington University (DE)

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.