Application armageddon strikes high school seniors


courtesy photo

Common application has recently experienced multiple technical issues.

Olivia Griffin, News Editor

High school seniors across the nation are in a state of panic after the Common Application, a popular tool in applying to universities, has faced numerous technical difficulties.

The glitches have been blamed on an unprecedented spike in the use of the program, up 19 percent from last year. Additionally, a new online system, which was launched last August, has had numerous technical issues.

“For applicants going forward, I think we really have addressed the major issues that they are seeing,” Common Application Senior Director for Policy Scott Anderson said in a statement in an NPR article, noting that many of the errors were fixed last week.

The Common Application, which has been in use since 1975, allows students to submit a universal college application to multiple colleges, and has traditionally been a benefit to students. This year marked the end of a paper application as the Common Application transitioned to being a completely web-based tool.

The top challenges are that students are unable to login to their accounts and being charged multiple times for one application while teachers are having difficulties uploading letters of recommendation.

It’s starting to look like an application Armageddon,” college admissions consultant Irena Smith said to Montana Public Radio.

In response to the current situation, two Texas universities, Rice University and Southern Methodist University, have extended their Early Action and Early Decision deadlines from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.

“Even the colleges have been scrambling a bit,” Lisa Meyer, Dean of Enrollment at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., said to NPR.

Some experts, such as CNN Educational Correspondent David Marcus are considering the shutdown an unfortunate event, but a potentially beneficial occurrence for soon-to-be high school graduates.

“I’m secretly hoping for more delays with the Common App,” Marcus said in his CNN column.  “If kids can’t apply to college now, they can’t go next year. And that means they’ll be forced to take a gap year, which likely will be the best preparation for college of which anyone can dream.”

Up-to-date information about the Common Application can be seen on the Known Issues page.