The new and improved site has become so famous for timing out that it’s rumored that the only time applicants can log on is am, or first thing on a Saturday morning.“If anyone has experience with the common app for college and/or applying to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, could you please help me,” read one Tumblr post.
“I’m so confused I wanna lie down in a hole and never go to college ever.”“The Common App is just a nightmare this year,” said Bev Taylor, the president of the The Ivy Coach, a private college consulting practice.
The glitches range from things as small as not being able to copy and paste your essay from Microsoft Word (the Common App now recommends you write it ahead of time in either Text Edit or Notepad, although neither of those programs have word counts) to as major as applicants not knowing for days if their application has been completed.
Another reported problem involves the supplement essay—nicknamed the “Stealth Essay” now—for Cornell University: many students missed the prompt that included instructions to keep it under 500 words.
A great Personal Statement final draft cannot be written in one sitting.
It must be written, re-written and read to correct all punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors.“It’s just a horrific problem.”In fact, the Common App’s glitches have become so widespread that 46 universities have pushed back their early decision or early action deadline, which is usually November 1 (UNC Chapel Hill and Georgia Institute of Technology both had an October 15 deadline, and pushed theirs back to October 21).Among the schools to extend their deadlines are Columbia University, Duke University, Boston University, Emory College, and the University of Pennsylvania—which made students sweat out the Common App’s disasters until Wednesday, when it announced it was pushing back the deadline.For example, you could focus on a character-defining moment, a cultural awareness, a challenge faced, family background or cultural heritage, individual talents, academic commitment, or extracurricular activities.Tell us what you would like us to know about you in considering you for admission and/or scholarships.The context of a great Personal Statement is something that should be pondered and considered before committing to a final draft.One last point, read the Personal Statement out loud. If the Personal Statement sounds funny, there are probably errors that need to be corrected.Further, some schools such as Tufts University, Princeton University, and Hampshire College are allowing students to sign on with the Common App’s lesser-known competitor, the Universal College Application.“We were very, very concerned about it and we were in regular communications with the Common App,” said Alice Memory, UNC Chapel Hill senior assistant director for admissions.UNC Chapel Hill had an October 15 early action deadline, and Memory said the day before they decided to push it back, they had received 1,200 calls from concerned applicants and their families.For instance, students are asked about their ethnicity, and asked an optional question about classifying their race—but Hispanic is not included in there.As a result, nervous high school seniors are answering white just to classify themselves as something, meaning their applications could be processed differently.