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Glitches in New Common Application Cause Temporary Panic Among Prospective Students

By Olivia Nalugya, Staff Writer

Early this November, the college application process was slightly impeded by multiple complications with the new Common Application system. These glitches drove most high school seniors into a momentary state of terror.

For Kalamazoo College prospective students, a call to the admission office seemed like their only option. Students indicated that they couldn’t tell whether sections of their applications were complete, and they also could not move on to following sections. In addition, the system was having ‘unusual time outs’.

Kalamazoo College’s Data Specialist Linda Wirgau in the Admission and Financial Aid Office revealed that she had her suspicions earlier on: “Our problem with the Common App. started in August; I was searching for applicants but I didn’t really see anything yet – that kind of tipped me off that maybe all functionality wasn’t there,” she said.

Wirgau, however, indicated that the Common App. management was diligent in sending them daily updates about the new system so that the college was informed about new improvements and yet to be resolved technicalities.

“Weekly we had updates of what was complete as well as a set time of completion for pieces that were not yet complete,” she explained.

In addition, an online support center was built by the common app management to cater frequent difficulties with the new system. According to Wirgau, the common application team had “a lot of communication avenues to help people understand what was going on.”

Most K prospective students who called admissions mainly had trouble accessing the Common App. on computers that use Google Chrome software.

Students who called were advised to contact the Common App. help team for assistance.             The early decision and early action decisions deadlines are set for the Nov. 15. Decisions will be sent out on the Dec. 1 for the binding applications, and on Dec. 22for early action.

At one time, K used its own application program, but decided to switch to the Common Application due to the undeniable benefits of using the program.

“We realized that the Common App. reached so many audiences, so we just went with them,” said Wirgau.

Unlike K, some colleges extended their early decision deadlines due to the setbacks from the Common App. However, according to admissions there was no need to do so because everything ‘seems right on schedule,’ and for the most part, prospective students can now feasibly access and use the Common Application.