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College Applicants Run Into Glitches With Common Application Online Form

By Liz Crenshaw and Katie Roberts
|  Thursday, Oct 31, 2013  |  Updated 10:15 AM EDT
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College Applicants Run Into Glitches With Online Application Form

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If applying to college wasn't nerve-wracking enough, some students are now facing major technical glitches when they try to apply.

The Common Application, or Common App, is the most broadly used application form in the country. More than 500 colleges and universities use the Common App.

The problems began in August, when Common App rolled out a new online technology. Hundreds have posted on Common App's Facebook page this week, complaining of everything from not being able to log in to getting an "error" message after an application is submitted.

We reached out to the organization that operates the Common App. It tells News4:

“The newest version of the Common Application, which launched on August 1, was designed to be a robust system able to guide applicants through the complex college application process. As with any new technological launch, some difficulties arose after launch and as more users interacted with the system. We have been responding immediately to these issues as they occur, and we are proactively testing and improving the system to reduce the risk and impact of any future issues. We are using multiple methods--including email communications and social media--to keep member colleges, students, and counselors informed throughout the application process.

We have been vigorously preparing for the expected increase in volume in advance of November 1st deadlines. We have brought in more individuals to handle both customer support and any technical issues. Our goal is to make this a smooth process for applicants and members. As we have done in previous years, we are encouraging students and counselors to submit their applications and supporting documents ahead of the deadline so we may offer timely support during this time for the applicants, counselors, teachers, and college.”

Some local schools have extended their deadlines past the Nov. 1 early admission date. Johns Hopkins extended its early decision deadline by a week to Nov. 8. Howard University said its new date for early action admission is pushed back two weeks, to Nov. 15. St. Mary's College in Maryland said they'd give students who are applying for early decision a few extra days if they were having issues.

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