The Collegiate Gateway team is excited to share the latest updates from the re-launch of The Common App for the 2022 application year.

The Common Application is the leading application platform for freshman and transfer college admissions in the US and is accepted by over 1000 member institutions. The Common App organization continues to grow with 50 new members this year, including public institutions such as Texas A&M, UT Austin, and University of Washington-Seattle; and private institutions such as Cleveland Institute of Art.

Changes to The Common App in recent years have been focused on improving access and equity to the college application process, and this year is no different. Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of The Common App said, ”Key to our mission at Common App is lowering the logistical and systemic barriers to college access. Students and colleges will both benefit from a larger, more diverse, and more inclusive Common App.”

Personal Statement

This year, there were no changes to the Personal Statement prompts or the optional question about Covid-19 and community disruptions in the Additional Information section.

As you may know, last year’s admissions cycle included a new Personal Statement prompt on the Common App for the first time in almost five years. It reads:

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

This question replaced the previous prompt:

Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

The new prompt was introduced in hopes that it would “generate stories that students are inspired to write and that colleges are excited to read.”

Equity and Accessibility

Common App understands the importance of creating an equal playing field for all students in the college admission process. “Evolving the Application” is a yearly initiative to examine each section’s equity and accessibility as part of its ongoing effort to create an inclusive application for all students.

Some revisions related to accessibility and equity include adding the following:

  • “Mx.” and “other” prefix options for counselor, parent, recommender, teacher, and advisor
  • Add “Legal” to the first/given name question label
  • For the 2023-24 season, will add “X or another legal sex” to “female” and “male”

Lastly, The Common App will make some changes to the fee waiver section. Recent research shows about 39,000 first-year applicants were likely eligible for the fee waiver but did not request one. To ensure all students understand who is eligible, Common App has expanded the fee waiver question label to incorporate the list of eligibility criteria.

Collegiate Gateway is happy to help with any of your questions about the college application process! Visit our website to set up a complimentary consultation to learn about our services.