As you may have heard, the Common App launched the new version of its application on August 1st – an application that was designed to make everything a bit easier for students and their counselors. Right now, that’s not exactly happening.
Like any newly launched program, there were bound to be some glitches and a few bugs. We have been bumping up against those since August 1. Some have been resolved, but new ones keep popping up. It’s the new ones that students and parents need to pay attention to.
It seems that when too many people try to use the system, the system shuts down. That means students who have waited till the last minute to submit their applications are unable to do so. The folks at Common App are working diligently to fix the problem, but there’s no way of knowing how long it’s going to take to get this taken care of.
Of persistent concern is the fact that the problem cropped up on the days leading up to early deadlines that are only used by a few colleges. Assuming they are able to fix the problem this time, many wonder what will happen when exponentially more students try to submit applications near the more common deadlines that have been set by hundreds of colleges. For that reason, and a few others, many counselors are recommending that students submit their applications at least 7-10 days before the deadline. (Students can also check to see if the schools they’re applying to offer the option to use their own institutional applications or the Universal College Application.)
In short, this is not a good year to procrastinate. If you’re applying to a school that only accepts the Common Application, waiting till the last minute could be a greater gamble than you expect.