Common app changes sex and gender questions

On February 24, the Common Application announcement changes to gender identity and legal sex issues, which are due to enter into force in the 2021-2022 application process.

The Common App implemented these changes to address widespread student concerns about their inability to properly express themselves on the app.

The revised application will include the addition of an optional question asking students for their preferred first name in addition to their legal last name. It will also give students the option to multiple select or write down a set of pronouns they use and change a question asking for “sex” to “legal sex”.

In a blog from the Common Application website, President and CEO Jenny Rickard wrote that the changes were discussed and implemented because “in order to deliver on the promise of higher education as a path to opportunity. economic, it is incumbent on institutions, advocates and stakeholders to remove any potential barriers that could hamper students of all backgrounds.

These changes accompany a similar change in 2016, where a text box was added to allow students to express their gender identity.

Some students feel that the new changes are not enough to allow full inclusion of students. Mel Hornyak ’23, who does not use their legal name, noted that the phrase “preferred name” was not the best language to use.

“It’s not much of a preference for many students,” Hornyak said. “It’s just their name and something that’s an integral part of their identity.”

Hornyak said they agree, however, that these changes are generally beneficial for students. “I am really happy that they are taking steps to make the joint application inclusive and recognize that there are trans students applying to college and that they may need help feeling more secure. comfortable with this difficult process, ”they said.

Over 97% of current Princeton undergraduates used the common application when they applied for the 2019-2020 application process.

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