Common Application glitches result in added stress for seniors

Source: twitter.com

Source: twitter.com

Anna Wright

Senior Alicia Hoagenson views an email telling her that her application to the Georgia Institute of Technology is incomplete. Inaccurate error notifications like this one are the result of glitches in the Common Application system this year.
Senior Alicia Hoagenson views an email telling her that her application to the Georgia Institute of Technology is incomplete. Inaccurate error notifications like this one are the result of glitches in the Common Application system this year. Photo by Anna Wright

As November gets underway, the college application process is in full swing for most RBHS seniors. With many early decision deadlines past or fast approaching, students applying to schools through the Common Application are attempting to demonstrate their ability to a wide range of colleges in a short period of time.

However, glitches in this year’s Common App system are resulting in many pushed back application deadlines and difficulties for seniors applying to schools for the first time, senior Alicia Hoagenson said. When Hoagenson attempted to send in her completed common application to the Georgia Institute of Technology, she said she received an error message telling her the application was incomplete.

“I first tried submitting it on the Oct. 15 deadline, but I got an email from the school saying that my writing supplement didn’t go through and that my application was incomplete,” Hoagenson said. “Now my application won’t be considered for early deadline; it will have to be sent again and considered for regular decision.”

The Georgia Institute of Technology early decision deadline was originally set for Oct. 15, but was later pushed to Oct. 21, and then pushed back further to Nov. 1. It was one of more than 50 schools that announced deadline extensions as a result of technical difficulties with the Common App. Senior Kelsey Harper, who is applying to Duke University, Northwestern University, Washington University and Stanford University through the common app, said application cutoff extensions removed some stress from the application process.

“My Duke deadline was actually moved from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8,” Harper said. It was a little bit of a relief.”

Despite the extended cutoff, Harper’s application process has not been completely smooth, she said. She experienced a glitch in the system, which, though quickly resolved, still proved to be a minor hassle.

“When I submitted my writing supplement to Duke University, an error page popped up and told me I needed to contact someone at common app, but then it re-linked me to their information page and it didn’t tell me who to contact,” Harper said. “When I logged off and logged back on it told me that my supplement had been submitted, so I didn’t really worry about it, I assumed it was an error on their part.”

Counselor Jordan Alexander said the Common App staff and Board of Directors needs to work to resolve technical issues soon in order to reduce students’ worry.

“It is critical that they address [the problem] quickly,” Alexander said. “I don’t know why there have been more problems this year but I do know that it has caused stress for a lot of students. It was something they couldn’t control but hopefully the common app can get them resolved.”

Students should submit their applications several days before the given deadline, Alexander said. This way, they can ensure that if they encounter problems or their application doesn’t go through, it won’t be too late to get the problem fixed before time runs out.

“My suggestion to students, if they are using the common apps would be not to wait till the last minute to submit their materials, because it appears that there is a correlation between the number of students and recommenders that are trying to be on the common app and the amount of glitches,” Alexander said. “Get your info done early and avoid the late rush which may put you in a difficult situation.”

Hoagenson said the Common Application glitches need to be fixed as soon as possible. They should have made sure it ran smoothly ahead of time, she said, so that students wouldn’t have to experience unnecessary stress.

“You have to considering how many schools take it and how many students use it multiple times for multiple schools,” Hoagenson said, “They should have made sure that it’s bug free and that it works like it should and that it’s what it’s ideally supposed it be before they give it out and let students use it.”

By Anna Wright