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College Applicants Frustrated By Problems With Common App

Some Universities Say They'll Extend Deadlines As A Result Of Trouble

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is a stressful time as it is for high school seniors trying to apply to college, but many students also have been dealing with added anxiety thanks to problems with a website designed to streamline the process.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported Sunday night, Maria Voss is one of the college applicants who has found herself tripped up by the Common Application this week.

Every time she has tried to log on, she said, “I enter my e-mail and it says, ‘There’s no account with this email.’”

Voss said she has gotten an error message keeping her off the site every time.

“I was kind of in a panic zone because I wanted to get these deadlines,” she said. “I had a few essays to finish writing a few recommenders to send off and I couldn’t go on.”

The Common App is designed to simplify the college application process by allowing students like Voss to use the same form to apply to several schools at once. Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, and the Georgia Institute of Technology are among the more than 500 colleges and universities that use the nonprofit service.

Just last year, the Common App said it had processed hundreds of thousands of applications. But this year, the site has been plagued with technical glitches that are leaving some high school seniors desperate for answers.

“There should be struggle when it comes to putting four years on a piece of paper, but to struggle with technical issues, is somewhat difficult to explain to them.”

Comments about the technical problems have flooded the Common App Facebook page. On Twitter, Common App users also have been venting.

“I’m never going to be able to apply to college,” one person tweeted.

The Twitter user included an image from the Common App site, which read: “We are not going to let technology punish a student for something that’s outside of their control. If that means extending a deadline, we’re going to do that.”

On its Facebook page, the Common App blamed some of the issues on “a spike in activity.”

The organization said it is working to fix the glitches, and offered advice for users having trouble.

Besides Georgia Tech, other universities are trying to ease students’ anxiety by extending deadlines as well.

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