Common App Glitches Frustrates Students

Think your Common App is in good shape?

Guess again.

According to Guidance, a number of students have discovered that pieces of their app are not visible to colleges though the students’ own Common App sites show they are. The problems have existed all year and continue to exist, Guidance Counselor P.J. Washenko said.

Some colleges let their applicants know when they are missing information, Washenko said, so that several students have been able to catch the errors and set them right.

“The best thing seniors can do is check if the college offers a school portal where they can check if their application is complete. Since colleges are expecting students to be able to handle things themselves, it’s always better for them to try and solve an application problem themselves.”

However, for those whose schools do not offer such a system, there is still hope, Washenko said.

“Students have to understand this a very busy time for administration offices, but a quick email or phone call can’t hurt if the college does not offer a way for students to check that everything is in. There are always issues, but this year has been especially bad.”

The college application process is stressful in and of itself, with the pressure and anxiety of balancing school work and extracurriculars with writing college essays, gathering recommendations, filling out applications, and meeting deadlines.

Add to that the still-growing list of glitches with the Common App, the widely used online college application program, and it is a wonder most of the Staples class of ‘14 isn’t going gray.

The site has been known to have issues with confusing set ups, slow connections and loss of data, but this year a huge number of students have dealt with important components of their application not being successfully sent to their colleges.

It has been an especially challenging year because to both students and their guidance counselors, applications looks 100% completed.

“I don’t want to completely blame the Common App, but if everything looks good to us guidance counselors and everything looks good to the students but somehow the colleges aren’t seeing what we are, obviously there’s a glitch somewhere in the system,” Washenko said.