Discrimination against undocumented students banned



May 30, 2013
Contact: Daniel Vargas
Communications Director
The Common Application, Inc.
(Office) 202.430.6048

Common Application, Inc. apologizes, bans discrimination against undocumented students across the country

NEW ORLEANS – Earlier today, The Common Application, Inc. issued a formal apology to the undocumented American community for years of discrimination and announced that it is taking the necessary steps to end discrimination against undocumented students, impacting over 400 private colleges. The announcement was made at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) in New Orleans.
The Common Application, Inc. announced two changes to the upcoming version of the Common App, the college application used by high school students across the country. The 2013-2014 version of the Common App (CA4) will become available Aug. 1, 2013 and will include these changes:
  1. "Undocumented American" will be added as an option in the demographics portion.
  2. "Undocumented status" will be added to The Common Application Inc.'s non-discrimination clause, which legally binds the 527 member institutions who accept the application (2013-2014).
"The Common Application, Inc. annually revises our Common App, but never have our changes had such an impact in creating opportunity for an entire community," said Rob Killion, executive director of The Common Application, Inc.
According to a study by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities as many as 95 percent of undocumented youth never attend college. Many undocumented youth do not realize the impact of their status until they are in high school and considering applying for college.
"Private colleges inaccurately have been labeling undocumented students as international students which guarantees a separate and unequal admissions process. Until now, this discrimination has been permitted and facilitated by The Common Application, Inc," said Killion.
Changes to the application will allow undocumented Americans to self-identify, whereas previously it was unclear to these applicants if they could even use the Common App. Previously, they were forced to identify as "other."
Beneficiaries of the policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and non-DACA recipients are encouraged to self-identify as "undocumented American" if they so choose and will be protected by the "undocumented status" provision in the organization's non-discrimination clause.
The new version of the Common App will increase the use of the Common App by undocumented students, better allow them to self-identify and will ensure that they are not discriminated against in the admissions process, increasing college access.
About The Common Application, Inc.
The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that, since its founding over 35 years ago, has been committed to providing reliable services that promote equity, access and integrity in the college application process. We serve students, member institutions and secondary schools by providing applications – online and in print – that students and school officials may submit to any of our more than 450 members. More information can be found at www.commonapp.org.
The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) was launched in 1988 by the University of Oklahoma Outreach to address racial issues in higher education. NCORE aims to improve racial relations and access to higher education by diverse, underrepresented populations. More information can be found at www.ncore.ou.edu.