Common Application woes put colleges behind schedule

  • Updated: October 12, 2013 - 6:21 PM

With early admission deadlines looming for hundreds of thousands of students, the new version of the online Common Application shared by more than 500 colleges and universities has been plagued by numerous malfunctions, alarming students and parents and putting admissions offices weeks behind schedule

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Jason Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment at Cornell University. “I’ve been a supporter of the Common App, but in this case, they’ve really fallen down.”

Colleges around the country have posted notices on their admissions websites, warning of potential problems in processing applications.

For the nonprofit company — also called the Common Application — that creates the form, it has been a summer and fall of frantic repair work. Rob Killion, the executive director, acknowledged a wide range of failings but said they were being fixed.

Problems became evident as soon as the application was released in August. Students who thought they had finished the application found that it was incomplete because questions had been added after its release. As changes were made, some found themselves locked out of the system.

Many colleges are still testing the software and have not yet put it to use, and most of those schools have Nov. 1 or Nov. 15 early admission deadlines.

New York Times

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