Common App crashing causes chaos, complaints, controversy


With under 48 hours left until the Nov. 1 early action deadline, students were frantic to submit their college applications.
Unfortunately for them, hundreds of thousands of students from around the country had the same idea. The Common Application, one of the largest sites for undergraduate admission applications, was flooded with 233,720 applications on Oct. 31 alone, leading to a crash and shutdown of the website.

As students scrambled to submit applications, the Common Application could not handle the tremendous traffic being sent to their site. The vast number of applications topped the previous record number of applications being sent on one day by 47,000. This unrivaled number of applications overwhelmed the site and forced a shutdown. “During the two-day period of October 31 and November 1, a total of 420,124 applications and 1.81 million recommender forms were submitted and successfully delivered to our member colleges and universities,” the Common App wrote in an article published on Nov. 3.

For a two hour period on Oct. 31, the site was taken offline in order to investigate and fix the technical issues created by the massive spike in activity. However, many continued to experience difficulties even after the site was put back online the following day at 1:30 a.m.. Students were left distressed and panicked as they hoped their applications would eventually be sent. Senior Hamzah Shah realized that the temporary shutdown was most likely caused by the substantial number of students attempting to send in applications as well. “I tried to submit for about an hour but then just decided to wake up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning because I knew nobody would be on there at that time,” Shah said.

This is not the first time the Common Application has crashed. Students who have waited until the last minute to submit applications have been met with this issue for years, as it has proven to be a repeating issue. In past years, deadlines have occasionally been moved back for select colleges using the Common Application due to major shutdown problems. Issues arise from the application process frequently so having time to resolve issues is a necessity.

Senior Emma Baldwin had troubles with her information saving after being input on the site, resulting in panic. “It was a really stressful experience and I wished I did not wait until the last minute to finish some of my applications so I could have fixed this issue before,” Baldwin said.

Regardless of when a deadline for application is, expect the worst to eliminate the chances of missing the deadline and get applications completed and sent as soon as possible. This will alleviate some of the stress with the application process and reduce the likelihood of experiencing a problem similar to what happened on Oct. 31. “I submitted all of my applications well before the deadline so I was glad I didn’t have to deal with the crashing issue,” senior Alex Hodes said.

Matthew Lind

Back Page Editor