College application 'Common App' causing problems

Complaints include page freezes, lost data, more

By Guy Gordon - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - It's a stressful time for any young person who aspires to college.  Filling out the application, writing the essay, and then waiting and hoping the college of your choice accepts you. But it's more stressful than ever this year because the on-line application program most students use is their biggest obstacle.

It's supposed to simplify things - but instead of filling out multiple college applications you only fill out one and send it online to up to 500 schools. It's called the common app and it's uncommonly troubled.

Serena Bian is an honor students who would give the Common App process a failing grade. "I would fill in a supplement and it would just be gone."

The complaints abound on the apps facebook page:

  • Page freezes
  • Lost data
  • Double-charging
  • Re-formatted essays

The Common App is treating Serena like a foreign applicant. "And that means my application is weighted differently and could really affect my chances of acceptance."

Some of the problems were fixed by recent upgrades, but traffic is increasing and there are system slowdowns.

And even when students persevere and complete their application there's no guarantee their chosen school can access it.

Patrick O' Connor a Cranbrook-Kingswood Guidance Counselor said, ""Most schools are reporting they are getting some of the information but many schools say there are pieces of the applications missing. I would say start early, don't procrastinate, keep in contact with your guidance counselor."

Common App told NBC NEWS: We have brought in more individuals to handle both customer support and technical issues. Our goal is ot make this a smooth process.

For students looking to get answer from their chosen school before Christmas the deadline to apply is tomorrow. While some schools have extended their deadline, the University of Michigan has not.

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