The Common Application unveiled a new interface this Fall, which is currently experiencing a range of technical issues. The New York Times recently highlighted several issues from difficulties with payments and submitting letters of recommendation. Stressed clients have also been calling and texting, after encountering similar challenges. Don’t worry. After a query of college admissions officers across the U.S., every one knew about the problems for applicants and remarked about complications their offices are also experiencing. Generally, college admissions officers are taking a “wait and see” if the Common Application organization fixes the technical issues in the next two weeks before the earliest Early Action and Early Decision deadlines. In the meantime, each officer assured me that they are putting contingencies in place to submit all required application materials without penalties to applicants. Some college are even extending deadlines, like Duke and University of Chicago. (Be sure to contact each college, however, to understand any changes and be sure about deadline extensions.) Lastly, the Common Application is providing regular updates on their website and Facebook page to inform applicants of known issues and any resolutions in progress or completed.
Mostly, the technical glitches are creating strain in an already stressful situation. Starting sooner to begin filling out the Common App and requesting letters of recommendation well in advance of the deadlines can help identify any potential snags. Then, applicants can get help, as needed. Extra steps can be annoying, but create peace of mind in the end knowing that all possible actions were taken to submit college applications on time.