Transfer application keeps veterans in mind for college admissions

Kaylah Jackson
September 05, 2018 - 11:05 am

Photo courtesy of The Common Application


When you’re applying to college having to explain the “gap in your education,” can seem like a hassle. How do you write in so many words it’s because you enlisted in the military right after high school or you spent months in the Middle East or at sea for a deployment? Instead of thinking of that gap as a negative, the team at The Common App wants to help highlight your military experience.

The Common App website streamlines the college application so students can connect with best-fit institutions. With their revamped transfer application, nontraditional students like student-veterans can navigate the admissions process much easier.

“There were some simple barriers that made the process more difficult for folks like veterans that were applying to college,” says Daniel Obregon, senior director of communications for The Common App. “Simple things like language that we were using in the application. When you ask an individual to explain a gap in their education, if they had been serving in the military, that’s not something that they should perceive as being a negative.”

After hearing feedback from students and listening to a panel of advocacy groups, representatives from 2-year institutions, 4-year institutions, and policymakers, they made adjustments to the transfer application to make it more inclusive for applicants.

Obregon says this new transfer application highlights the beneficial experience that student veterans bring to college campuses. The application offers space for applicants to showcase what they did while in uniform and creates a more efficient channel for The Common App’s over 800 member institutions to access that data from the veteran’s application.

Along with standard information for college admissions like personal information and essays, the application portal allows veterans to upload documents like their DD 214 and Joint Services Transcript along with their application. This means a one-time upload for your military documents for you and for the schools that receive your application, they can identify you as a veteran immediately and access your service history easily.

“With the new transfer application we have made it a lot easier for our member institutions to share the variety of programs that they have to offer so it’s easier for an active military member or veteran to find the right programs based on their relative experience,” says Obregon.

The Common App team knows that many veterans are balancing other priorities like families and full-time jobs when they apply for college and as a result, the transfer application also offers resources so that applicants can find an institution that supports their life commitments outside of the classroom.

The Common App serves hundreds of institutions from across the globe, from small liberal arts colleges to large public flagships institutions, and historical black colleges and universities (HBCU).

To learn more about the new transfer application, visit Then click “How to Apply.” You’ll find a simple guide that walks you through, creating an account, sharing your story, adding programs, gathering materials, to starting your application.

For an in-depth walkthrough of the transfer application, check out this video of how the application process works. 

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