While trying to submit applications by the Nov. 1 deadline, high school students applying early decision to Boston University have been experiencing technical issues with the Common Application, said Kelly Walter, associate vice president and executive director of BU Admissions.
“Our processes have been impacted as well, and we are working with the Common Application to resolve the technical problems as quickly as possible,” Walter said. “We are confident that all students interested in applying to Boston University this year will be able to do so by our early decision deadline of Nov. 1 and our regular decision deadline of Jan. 1.”
The Common App is a site used by hundreds of colleges and universities to facilitate student applications for admission, according to its website. In a Tuesday press release, Aba Blankson, director of communications for the Common App, said the Common App site has been experiencing problems, which have caused applicants distress.
Blankson said the most frequently reported problems have involved login errors and credit card payments. She said these problems have caused delays in application submissions.
“None of these issues impacts all users, but each introduces a level of frustration for students, which adds anxiety to an already stressful process,” Blankson said. “These issues also have the potential to impact processes and deadlines for our member colleges, and we are especially appreciative of colleges that have taken steps to reassure students and parents.”
Blankson said the Common App is working closely with Hobsons, the developer of the new Common App online system, to resolve these issues as soon as possible.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said he believes the Common App will continue to be a positive aspect of the college application process for BU, despite the current setbacks.
“The Common App has made it easier for students for years now,” Riley said. “It is understandable that when something is new there might be technical issues. The proof of that is that they [students] apply to a higher quantity of schools and do it much easier despite the technical problems at this particular time.”
Hannah Needleman, a senior at Hopkinton High School in Hopkinton, N.H., said she had to reload her Common App PDF at least five times while trying to apply early decision to BU’s College of Communication.
“I was unable to log on to the Common App the other day for about five hours,” Needleman said. “When copying and pasting my essay and supplements into the Common App, the format was messed up every time, putting the writing in bold and double spacing every paragraph except for the last.”
Lila Milgrom, a senior at Glen Rock High School in Glen Rock, N.J. who is applying regular decision to BU, said her applicant information continually gets erased on the Common App website. Additionally, she said the website has been running slowly.
“It’s [the Common App] generally just really laggy,” Milgrom said. “It takes a long time to load. One of my friends said that her essay had been jumbled up, and it was sent to the school she was applying to, [but] not in the right order that she wrote it in.”
Allison Garbley, a senior at Mahwah High School in Mahwah, N.J. who is applying early decision to BU’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said the Common App was completely shut down on Monday.
Garbley said her friends applying to schools with Tuesday deadlines were very anxious about the technical difficulties. She said although her guidance counselors do not know how to solve these issues, they have been helpful during this process.
“That [applying] was definitely confusing and challenging,” Garbley said. “If I were completely on my own, I wouldn’t have known to do that … The whole process is nerve-wracking.”