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|Students encounter stressful time|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:22|
While students have Co- lumbus Day off from school, many high school seniors spend the day applying to col- leges with October and No- vember deadlines. This past holiday, students battled a frozen application system that prevented many from submit- ting their applications on time.
Sidney McClure, a col- lege counselor in Duxbury, has been working with stu- dents who have struggled with the Common Application this year. Many times, students attempt to log in and are told their usernames or passwords are incorrect.
“I’m afraid many students are sitting at home struggling and thinking the issue is with their computer or their Internet service,” she said. “This is already a time of great stress for students and these issues are not helping.”
Two colleges with Oct. 15 deadlines – Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill – have already extended their deadlines to give students extra time to work around the issues. McClure spent a good portion of the holiday weekend working with Duxbury students to get around the issues.
The Common Application technical support team has been working on various issues with the system since the launch of a redesigned application in August. According to the support team, the most recent issues may be linked to three specific problems. Some users have been unable to create accounts because they are using unsupported browsers. The support team provided a link to browsers that do support the application.
Some applicants who changed their email addresses after registering have been unable to log in. The problem was fixed in late September, but the solution was not retroactive. They suggest getting in touch with the support team for assistance. All application payments are processed by a third-party vendor and in some cases a record of the payment is not sent back to an applicant’s account.
“Unfortunately, we are discovering that some applicants are paying a second time before we are able to update the original payment record in their account,” the support team said in a statement.
McClure suggested students who are applying for early action or early decision deadlines check social media sites and their college Web sites for updates on any extended deadlines. She also suggested students wait until off-peak hours to try to log in and send applications.
“One of my students was able to send her applications out in the middle of the night successfully,” she said. “But many of my students who try to apply at 5 p.m. are unable to even log in.”
McClure said the most important thing for students to remember is that the issues are happening across the board to all students attempting to apply. Some issues with the system change formatting of essays, which may concern students.
“Just remember, this affects everyone, so if your essay looks funny, know that everyone’s does as well,” she said.
McClure said she is hopeful the issue will be resolved by Nov. 1, a deadline for many college that use the Common Application.
“This has been frustrating for guidance counselors, stu- dents, teachers and colleges,” she said. “Our only consolation is that everyone is impacted.”