Additional Common App Guidelines Often Overlooked

Last year, when you were logged into your Common App account and viewing a college's supplement, you knew that you were seeing all of the questions available through the Common App. While there still might be additional departmental and scholarship questions found on a school's website, you knew that your supplement was not hiding anything from you. This year, the Common App has become infamous for its hidden questions which can only be viewed by selecting a particular combination of interests. College Essay Organizer has proven to be invaluable in this respect, ensuring that additional essays are not discovered during the final pre-deadline moments.

In addition to hidden questions, be on the alert for hidden tips regarding the length of an essay. Most schools either include a word limit or guideline in the question itself and/or provide a text box which allows a maximum number of words. The majority of students would not think to look further than that. However, if you examine the right side of the page when on a writing supplement, you will notice the title "Help Center." In most cases, this will simply lead to a page where you can search for answers to common questions. However, in some cases as in the University of Chicago, an additional note on the length is provided: "Please respond to Question 1 --and, if you choose, Question 2 --by writing a paragraph or two up to a full page, approximately 250 words, for each question. Then choose one of the six extended essay options, indicate your choice, and write a one- or two-page response." This offers important clarification beyond the 500-word-maximum text box provided.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Additional Common App Guidelines Often Overlooked

Common App Issues Continue to Plague Students and Colleges Alike

According to this recent New York Times article, the Common App's continued difficulties are not only increasing the stress of students during the application process, but are also causing colleges grief by delaying access to submitted forms and applications. Jason Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment at Cornell University, complained, "It's [the application process] been a nightmare. I've been a supporter of the Common App, but in this case, they've really fallen down."

With early deadlines approaching and some already past, colleges are falling way behind schedule, unable to begin accessing thousands of waiting applications. Further, colleges are considering extending application deadlines along with their response times due to the numerous errors. Here are some issues to watch out for:

  • When pasting in your main essay or supplemental ones, be on the lookout (and leave lots of extra time) for numerous formatting issues.
  • Essay questions have been added to the Common App after applications were initially released, so make sure to check back before the due date to ensure that you have all the required, optional, program-specific, and scholarship questions that apply to you. We can't tell you how many members have thanked us at College Essay Organizer for alerting them to questions that they would have otherwise missed.
  • Preview and print functions have shown blank pages rather than displaying. Switching to a different browser may rectify this situation.
  • When paying the application fee, the mandatory signature page has been problematic, sometimes not showing up, causing students to think the application has been submitted when it has not.
Posted in College Admissions Tips, Essay Question Updates, News | Comments Off on Common App Issues Continue to Plague Students and Colleges Alike