Online application site causing issues for students

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

Snellville's Mitchell Johnson toured Georgia Tech's campus with his parents Monday afternoon. He was able to get his application through Common App, but he said it took a lot of time.

ATLANTA, Ga. - Thousands of students across the country and here in Georgia are having trouble applying online to some colleges and universities because of problems with a popular online application website.

The Common Application, or Common App, acknowledged it's had issues with the site ever since it launched a new software platform in August. More than 500 schools across the United States, including eight in North Georgia, use Common App to get applications.

"We are aware of the log-in issues users are experiencing," the business tweeted Monday. "Taking steps to address the problem as quickly as possible."

Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Spelman College, Clark University, Berry College and Oglethorpe University all use Common App.

"We have been speaking with the folks at Common App on a weekly basis and some days more than once or twice a day," said Terrance Dixon, the associate vice president for enrollment management at Morehouse.

Dixon said Common App also mistakenly categorized Morehouse as an Early Decision school when it's really an Early Action school. That, said Dixon, has confused many potential students and their parents.

"We know we are an Early Action school," said Dixon. "They should understand and trust that when we had a conversation with them, we are still an Early Action school, and that we will evaluate their application in that way."

Common App's problems forced Georgia Tech to push back its deadline date from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 so students have more time to work through the website's issues.

"There are some solutions that we can help students work through," said Mary Tipton Woolley, associate director for undergraduate admission at Georgia Tech.

"We are troubleshooting those kinds of problems where we have the opportunity to help them on our end, trying to troubleshoot with families to provide a little bit of help. There are obviously families that are very anxious. Our underlying message has really been that we want to make sure technical issues don't prevent students from being able to apply when they want to."

Snellville's Mitchell Johnson toured Georgia Tech's campus with his parents Monday afternoon. He was able to get his application through Common App, but he said it took a lot of time.

"It seemed like there was a lot of traffic," said Johnson. "It took multiple tries to get through. I just kept trying and then around midnight or so, it got through. I was thrilled and ready to go to sleep."

Dixon thinks Common App's issues will continue through the rest of the year.



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