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Common App will remove barriers to completing applications

The Common App released updates to its widely-used online application last week, including altering or removing questions that could be seen as having chilling effects on prospective students, Jenny Rickard, the organization’s chief executive, told EdScoop. As part of an ongoing effort to remove barriers to applying to college, the organization reviewed where students stopped on unfinished applications and talked to member institutions, Rickard said. For the application to be released in August, students will no longer be asked about school disciplinary history or their parents and siblings. Other questions were altered to allow for more options, like sex and gender, and others will be optional, including parents’ occupation and education attainment. Emily Bamforth has the details.

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Pearson launches textbook subscription service

In addition to its traditional sales model, the publishing house Pearson last week unveiled a subscription service that includes more than 1,500 digital textbooks. For $14.99 a month, students can subscribe to the service, called Pearson+, or pay $9.99 for the service’s “single” tier, which allows access to only one book at a time. Both tiers require a minimum four-month term. Emily has it.

Class raises $105 million

Class, a suite of tools designed make it easier to teach on the virtual conferencing platform Zoom, announced $105 million in Series B funding last week, after rolling out for major operating systems last month. The new money is intended to help Class expand its reach, both domestically and globally, founder Michael Chasen said in a press release. The platform, already used in 20 countries outside the U.S., and which serves both K-12 and higher education classes, adds functions like quizzes, “focus tracking” and analytics when running class sessions through Zoom. Check out the full story on Edscoop.

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