Common App concerns, 10/29 update

by Ken Anselment on October 29, 2013

We are under the impression that things are getting better with the Common Application with every passing day. According to Scott Anderson, Common App’s senior communication guy, the Common App had processed 350,000 applications, an increase of 28% over last year at this time. More important, he says that “while submission volume is growing daily, we have seen no recurrence of what  happened on October 14, the day many users were unable to log in to their accounts.”

If, however, you are one of the folks running into issues trying to submit your Common Application, here—directly from the Common App—are a couple of common problems and fixes:

Error Page upon Submission. On occasion, an applicant may see an error page upon submission. If this happens, the applicant should:

  1. log out of his or her account
  2. log back in
  3. go the Dashboard. The Dashboard should display confirmation that the application was submitted despite the error message observed during the submission process. The problem is with the page redirect, not the actual submission. We are working to fix this issue.

Unable to Create Account. There are some cases where recommenders are not able to create an account after clicking the “here” link within the recommender email invitation. If you encounter this issue, please contact the Help Center at recsupport.commonapp.org so that the support team can resolve this for you.

Remember, if you’re having problems with the application itself, please get in touch with your Lawrence admissions counselor so we can (a) be aware of the problem and (b) make any necessary accommodations.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Lawrence October 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

Improvement seems to be very sporadic. While the Common App team may be saying things are fine, as a counselor, I see the actual results for students using the system. Last evening (Oct 28) students throughout the U.S. reported waiting more than 45 minutes for PDF generation of their applications; many could not get their application to generate until 1 a..m. east coast time. Other students have submitted, received the confirmation email from the Common App, then discovered that their applications or payments had not been received by colleges. Many teachers are still struggling with the recommender system. I hope Lawrence will consider joining the growing list of colleges who are extending early deadlines, if only by a few days, to help relieve the stress that so many students (and parents) are experiencing. I am particularly concerned about students who are the first in their families to apply to college and who may not have the support or knowledge to tackle the issues. Thank you!

Reply

Ken Anselment October 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

We’re keeping an eye on things here, too, Carolyn. Thanks for letting us know that things continue to be problematic beyond what the Common App might be seeing. Our first deadline, Early Decision, is November 1, and the next is Early Action, which falls on November 15. We stand by our first statement back when things started getting bad, which is that we will be flexible with students at the deadline should they need an extension due to technical difficulties. If they need a day or two or three–especially if it means getting past volume-induced Common App server problems–we can work with that.

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