Common app changes language to serve transgender students
Last year, the Common App announced changes to better serve transgender students. The app added a question to give candidates the option to share their preferred first name, added a question about pronouns that gives students the option to select multiple options or add their set of pronouns, and moved the presentation from a question of “gender” to “legal gender” to reduce student confusion. (Colleges are required to ask for the legal name and gender of students to comply with reporting laws.)
Now the common application is making additional changes to accommodate transgender applicants.
Beginning with the 2022-23 bid season, the Common Application will add “Mx”. and “other” options for advisor, parent, recommender, teacher, and counselor prefix options, as well as adding “legal” to the first/first name question label. And starting with the 2023-2024 candidacy season, Common App will add “X” or “another legal gender” as an option in addition to “female” and “male”.
“These changes represent the next step in an ongoing effort to create a fair, just, and inclusive college admissions process for all students, regardless of identification,” said Jenny Rickard, President and CEO. of the common application. “In order to fulfill the promise of higher education as a pathway to economic opportunity, it is incumbent upon colleges, universities, and organizations, at every stage of the admissions experience, to remove barriers that may prevent students to pursue the next stage of their academic journey. »
The change was also welcomed by Campus Pride, a group that focuses on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in higher education.
“These changes represent a holistic and intersectional approach for all students and empower campuses to take responsibility for trans and non-binary students,” said Shane Windmeyer, CEO and Executive Director of Campus Pride. “At a time when trans youth are being targeted across the country in the most inhumane ways, the joint app announcement sends a clear message that trans people deserve recognition, respect and, most importantly, inclusion. and their safety are important.”
The common application will also expand the question of eligibility for fee waivers offered by the services. He will list all the criteria for getting a fee waiver, after hearing that some who qualify for the waiver don’t apply.
While Common Application has the most colleges in the US accepting its application, with more than 900 members, it does have some competition. Other app services are also working to make their apps more inclusive and welcoming for transgender students.
The Coalition for College’s bid last year brought a series of changes, according to Amanda Waite, its communications director. Under pronouns, choices now include “they, them, theirs” and “my pronouns aren’t listed.”
And after a question about the student’s legal sex, there is another question, about gender identity. Students can choose between ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘non-binary’, ‘additional gender category’ and ‘prefer not to disclose’.
The Universal College application has also made changes for transgender applicants. It asks applicants for both their “legal name” and their “preferred name”. And it asks applicants for their legal sex and gender identity. For this last question, candidates can select “male”, “female” or they can self-identify (and give another answer).