Common App Board Admits Mistakes

common-app-picThis past admissions season, thousands of students were caught off guard by technological glitches, missing or incorrect essay questions, and a host of other issues that occurred while preparing and submitting the Common App. In an attempt to regain public confidence, the Common App hired Censeo, a DC-based consulting firm, to survey members and investigate the causes of the catastrophe. See this article by Nancy Griesemer for a summary of the findings including:

  • Numerous glitches were due to inefficient and insufficient testing
  • The timeline for rolling out CA4 was unrealistic given the scope of the project and member feedback was not considered
  • Decision-making throughout the organization was not well-organized enough to handle wide-spread issues in a timely manner

Regardless of whether or not the Common App is able to sort out its issues going forward, there's one lesson our grateful members learned last season: be proactive and do not rely on the Common App to provide all of your essay questions. College Essay Organizer members not only got timely notifications as to when supplemental essays were available, but they also got all the essay questions (even the many not available through the Common App) all in one place, and organized by topic so students were ready to write.

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