Common App Announces more than $1.6 Million to Support Access and Equity Initiatives

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Grant money to support data-driven approach to college access and equity research

Common App, the non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the college admissions process, announced today that it has been awarded a grant of more than $1.6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support a data-driven approach to college access and equity research initiatives. This research will enable Common App stakeholders, including school counselors, college admissions professionals, and external researchers to better support the students that they serve.

“Common App serves millions of first-time and transfer students applying to nearly 900 member colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world. This information has the potential to advance the work of professionals committed to increasing access and equity in the college admissions process,” said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of Common App. “We are so grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for this opportunity to invest in our infrastructure. This grant will lead us to improve the outcomes of underrepresented students.”

This initiative will deliver easy-to-understand and meaningful insights to Common App’s stakeholders for the purpose of improving college access outcomes for underserved students, help Common App take an important step towards leading research to improve outcomes for students in higher education all in furtherance of Common App's mission, and to further support educational research. As Common App partners with researchers, it will do so in a manner consistent with our privacy policies.

About Common App

Common App is a not-for-profit member organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Each year, more than one million students, one-third of whom are first-generation, apply to college through the Common App’s online application. In January 2019, the Common App united with Reach Higher, the college access and success campaign started by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time at the White House. Its core programming, including Better Make Room, UpNext, College Signing Day, Beating the Odds, school counselor support, and current grants continues as part of the Common App’s work with its member institutions, school counselors, and students. Founded in 1975, Common App serves nearly 900 member colleges and universities worldwide.

To learn more, visit, and follow @CommonApp and #CommonApp on social media.

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Emma Crisci
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