college admissions help

Update: Read the latest tips for the 2017-18 Common App.

Students are stressed. Parents are stressed. As if the college application process weren’t nerve-wracking enough, the new Common App has made it nearly impossible for thousands of students to upload, preview, and submit their college applications.

The New York Times recently published an article outlining many of the issues applicants are facing. From blank print preview pages to essays that are devoid of all proper formatting, the errors are significant. With deadlines for early decision and early action schools rapidly approaching, some colleges are being forced to accommodate students experiencing major technical glitches. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill was among the first schools to push back their EA deadline, but Barnard College, the University of Chicago, Duke, Columbia, Tufts, and Northwestern have similarly followed suit with their early deadline extensions. Strikingly, Princeton University – which used to be an exclusive user of the Common App – is now allowing students to apply using the Universal College Application, an alternate to the Common App that is accepted by 33 member colleges.

While we, the former senior admissions officers at College Coach, can’t fix the Common App’s woes, we can share with you 16 tips to make the application process a little easier.

If you have questions about the new Common App, post them below and one of our experts will be happy to respond!


Written by Elyse Krantz
Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College. Visit our website to learn more about Elyse Krantz.