Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Word or 3 about the Common App Crisis

This is a news story that just doesn't seem to end - the problems with the once-reliable, apple-pie-and-Mom Common Application. Six weeks ago, it was unthinkable to those of us on the outside that the system would still be so fragile, so bedeviled with every kind of problem. Now that more and more deadlines are being extended - today both Yale and William and Mary added themselves to the list - it seems increasingly unlikely that the problems will be "fixed" anytime soon. Still, the Common App folks assure us that they are being fixed, and that hundreds of thousands of applications are being submitted. 

Where can you get information about the current state of affairs? Where can you ask questions? What should you do in a crunch? I'm afraid there are no good answers, but here's what I know: 

  1. Facebook's Common Application page is Kvetch Central and a pretty good place to go for advice. Today I found this comment, presumably from a teacher, which I copy in its entirety from the FB page. The takeaway is that if you are having a problem, change browsers and/or change computers. Keep changing browsers, and changing. Sometimes relief comes with the second or third or fourth browser you try. There doesn't seem to be one that does the trick. Christiana Quinn from Rhode Island writes:   "Just tried to submit with a student and her essay repeatedly would only half paste in. We switched computers and browsers and got it to work, but I am not sure how students on their own are supposed to handle ALL THESE ISSUES. There is a different one every time I log in with a student. Yesterday cut and paste didn't work at all for one of my students. Different computers, different browsers, but always problems...."
  2. Occasionally people on Facebook ask: "How do I send an email to the Common App? It's not apparent on the website." Answer: On the Common App homepage, click on HELP CENTER, then click on the tab that says ASK A QUESTION and click through all the possible answers. That's the support. Many people report that they only get form responses, some report that they hear nothing, and occasionally people post when they get useful information.
  3. Post your question on the Facebook page and hope someone answers it.
  4. Submit your applications at off-hours. One family I work with could submit the application at 2am. 
  5. This coming weekend is the last week before the Nov. 1 early deadlines. Don't wait until the weekend to submit, and whatever you do, don't wait until the final days of October.
  6. Check in on Twitter's #CommonApp page to get the latest news. This is from earlier this hour:

  1. Is the "testing" section on the common app preview supposed to be blank?? Can someone confirm this
  2. Come on common app, generate!
  3. The common app lost my account😡😡 anyone know how to retrieve it??

1 comment:

  1. have been reading your blog, Facebook's Common Application page has been committed to providing reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process.To know anything more you can visit