New England Schools React to Common App Glitches

Students applying to colleges and universities have faced problems with the widely used Common Application this year. That has some New England schools pushing back deadlines.

The non-profit web site is used by 517 schools. And hundreds of thousands of high school seniors use the Common Application during the sometimes tedious and almost always stressful application process. This year’s been especially difficult for some.

In August, Common Application launched a completely revamped web site. Among the issues, formatting problems with essays, submitting recommendations and billing. Some schools like Hampshire College and Dartmouth have pushed back some admissions deadlines. While others like UMass Amherst and Mount Holyoke College have not.

Common Application’s Scott Anderson says glitches were anticipated. But he adds they aren’t advising schools one way or the other about deadline adjustments.

“We don’t have any specific recommendations for colleges we are very supportive of whatever they feel is necessary to accommodate their applicant pool,” he says.

Anderson says despite the glitches about 300,000 student applications have been successfully completed. Anderson cannot however say how many people have had problems due to the new system.