Kyle spent three hours on Sunday trying to submit his Common Application to no avail. The system simply would not allow it to go through. Elizabeth was able to submit her application on Tuesday, but her payment went to a school that was not even on her list. Jim heard from some of the colleges he had applied to that they received his Common App on Wednesday, but a few lines of information were missing. He was not able to do a print preview before he sent it because the system would not allow it, even after two hours of waiting.
While these may seem like limited glitches, they have caused major problems for college applicants from Seattle to Maine. With early application dates looming, many colleges have had no choice but to extend their deadlines. Yes, the college admission process can be overwhelming, but the Common Application has caused an increase in stress and frustration for high school seniors, counselors, college consultants, and the colleges themselves.
The purpose of the Common Application was to make applying to college an easier experience since over 500 schools subscribed to the same application. For many years this worked. Suddenly, the Common Application decided to make some 6 million dollar changes this year. The "new and improved" application was launched on August 1st and from the beginning, students started having problems.
The Common App responded by saying they knew of some minor difficulties and they would have three corrected within a day or two. The support team was bombarded with questions because these difficulties did not get corrected, and if they did, new ones would crop up. This has now been going on for almost three months.
The Common Application was obviously not ready for prime time and should have waited to go live until the problems were worked out. Unfortunately, this group of college applicants will have to fight through it and be patient because it does not look like it is going to be "glitch free" for sometime. Some of us remember when you applied to college on a paper application. Right now, that would probably be a lot easier.