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Common Application glitches leave students, schools scrambling

Posted by Leslie Anderson  October 15, 2013 04:51 PM

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As the maker of The Common Application struggles to fix glitches in its new online version, the Washington Post reports that some schools have pushed back their deadlines for early action applications while others are taking a wait and see approach.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Georgia Tech have announced that they will push back their deadlines from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21, the Post reports, while Princeton University has offered students a different method of applying.

Meanwhile, The Common Application is fielding complaints and posting updates on its Facebook page and through Twitter.

"We are aware that some users are experiencing problems with the PDF previews," said a Facebook post by the nonprofit organization Tuesday morning. "We are investigating the cause and will report as soon as we have information to share. As frustrating as this problem is for those who encounter it, please know that it is not systemic and does not impact all users."

Many students have had problems getting onto the Common App site, inputting information, requesting teacher recommendations and paying application fees, according to articles in both the Post and The New York Times.

"We are aware of the login issues users are experiencing," the Common App said on Facebook Monday. "The slowness is due to a spike in activity among recommenders, which is having an impact in system performance for all users. The result is a time-out issue, which presents itself to users as an unsuccessful login error. Unfortunately, the issue continues to persist. We are taking steps to address the problem as quickly as possible."

And earlier in the day: "We have implemented several instructional changes to clarify processes surrounding print preview, fee waivers, self-reported testing, and essay pasting. We will continue to incorporate your feedback into our support resources."

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College Bound offers news and advice on preparing, applying, and ultimately heading off to college. Send your ideas and questions to Leslie.Anderson@globe.com. More »
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