Looking for a “Plan B” in an increasingly chaotic application season, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Hampshire College signed on today with the Universal College Application (UCA), a Baltimore-based admissions software provider.
“Trinity decided to partner with the Universal College Application, in part, to relieve stress among students applying to college,” said Reggie Kennedy, senior associate dean of admissions. “We were very impressed by the fast and easy setup, as well as the accessibility and responsiveness of the UCA staff.”
Earlier this month, Princeton University also joined the UCA and several other colleges are considering making similar moves as the Common App continues to challenge the patience of applicants, school counselors, and member colleges.
While most attention has focused on student inability to easily navigate and submit various elements of the new Common Application, colleges are becoming increasingly concerned by their inability to access application content online.
Admissions offices are resorting to various “low tech” fixes including printing out paper versions of submitted applications and scanning them back into their computers.
And many are extending deadlines and keeping fingers crossed that the Common Application will get their system fixed.
But in the meantime, admissions offices are being flooded with emails and phone calls from students and counselors asking why materials they submitted weeks ago aren’t appearing as received.
To address these problems, colleges that were originally “exclusive” to the Common App are reaching out to alternative application providers for backup.
“Tufts University is pleased to offer applicants and their recommenders an additional option when applying,” said Susan Garrity Arizzoni, director of undergraduate admissions. “In response to the ongoing technical issues associated with the new Common Application, we want to provide students and counselors a second, reliable pathway to submit an application this year.”