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"Common" College App Creates Common Headaches

It's only October and high school seniors are already sweating over their college applications, thanks to a host of problems with a website that was supposed to make the process easier.

For many, the ''common app'' provides one stop shopping for students applying to multiple colleges.

But serious glitches had some worrying they'd miss their deadlines.

"I was kind of in a panic zone because I wanted to get these deadlines."

Maria Voss is just one of many students who've been trying to meet early college admission deadlines, using the online common app and have run into one error message after another.

Even colleges themselves were having trouble accessing the website and the folks behind the common app have littered their social media pages with apologies and promises to make things right.

Independent college consultant Marna Atkin says the common app had been around for 35 years and had rarely been updated.  This year, she says they attempted some ambitious improvements that didn't go exactly as planned.

You were literally looking at a wheel for almost 2 days in a row."

Marna has several clients who were hoping to meet early admission deadlines and were worried they'd miss the cutoff.  Thankfully, most colleges have granted a little extra breathing room.

"October 15th is a big deadline for southern schools, and they all extended deadlines."

"A lot of the November 1st deadlines, huge for early action and decision, have also extended their deadlines."

Marna says the system seems to be smoother now and the common app tech staff seems to be working 24/7.  She's still suggesting applicants not wait until the November 1st deadline and try to submit materials earlier.

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