When the Common App. crashed at the deadline, numerous colleges extended their deadlines. We’ve got those extended deadlines for you.
On January 1st at around 11:30 PM EST, about three seconds after our last senior clicked submit on her one remaining Regular Decision application, the Common App. site crashed. And we were certainly not surprised. With all the glitches the Common App. experienced earlier this fall, and all those students who work up until the final minute, we’re happy that it didn’t crash earlier.
While we don’t know how many students were actually on the site at that very time, Scott Anderson, the director of outreach for the Common Application, stated to “The Daily Princetonian” that the Common App. received around 4,000 support tickets between the hours of 11:30 PM on January 1st and 2:30 AM on January 2nd during the time the site was down.
According to “The Daily Princetonian,” quoting Anderson, “Through Jan. 1, the Common Application received 2.6 million applications this admissions cycle, a 12 percent increase over the prior year. On Jan. 1 alone, it received 124,000 applications, but Anderson remarked this was still fewer than the 450,000 forms submitted on Dec. 31.”
Back in October when the Common App. site was experiencing a host of glitches, many colleges extended their Early Action or Early Decision deadlines, and we reported on all those extended dates. On January 2nd, many of those same colleges extended their Regular Decision deadlines.
So if you’re that senior who still hasn’t submitted your Regular Decision applications, or you’re thinking that you still want to apply to another few colleges, as of today you still have a few days to do so.
Amherst College: RD to January 10*
Barnard College: Extending deadline (no date provided)*
Boston College: RD to January 12*
Boston University: RD to January 3
Brandeis University: RD to January 8*
Brown University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Carnegie Melon University: RD to January 2 Colby College: RD to January 5
College of William and Mary: RD to January 8* Columbia University: RD to January 6
Cornell University: RD to January 9
Dartmouth College: RD to January 10*
Duke University: RD to January 5*
Fordham University: RD to January 8*
Hamilton College: RD to January 8*
Johns Hopkins University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Lehigh University: RD to January 10
Middlebury College: RD and ED II to January 10
Princeton University: RD to January 2
Stanford University: RD to January 2
Swarthmore College: Winter ED and RD to January 6
Syracuse University: Applications submitted by January 2 will be considered on time; applications received after will be considered on a “space available” basis Tufts University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
University of Chicago: RD to January 3
University of Virginia: Will be “flexible”
Vanderbilt University: ED II and RD to January 15
Vassar College: RD to January 8*
Wake Forest University: RD to January 10*
Yes indeed — the Common App. has crashed at the deadline (photo credit: Billy Hathorn).
Yes, there has been a crash of the Common App.! Many folks have been writing us tonight to find out if they’re the only ones who can’t submit their applications at the midnight deadline. They are not alone. The Common App., unsurprisingly, has crashed with so many folks on the server. It’s unsurprising because of the plethora (yes, we used an SAT word…which you should seek to avoid in all of your college essays if you can help it) of problems the Common App. has had this year. As you may know from reading our blog or reading the writings of our Founder, Bev Taylor, on “The Huffington Post,” we have sharply criticized the Common Application this year for their failings on so many levels.
Hopefully the Common App. will be up and running again soon but, for now, it’s down and many folks are grappling with this issue. So don’t stress too much. We anticipate that many colleges will extend their deadlines because of the crash, though there is no guarantee. It’s just our prediction!
Celebrate your New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Don’t celebrate your New Year’s Eve finishing up your college applications (photo credit: Jyle Dupuis from Canada).
On January 1st, we celebrate the New Year all over the world as our new students finish their applications by the college admissions deadlines. Most of our students finished their applications a long time ago, but some students don’t come to us until around the holiday season so we’ve got fast work to do. This year, we celebrated in four different time zones across the world. That’s quite a bit of confetti.
If you’re a high school junior or the parent of a high school junior, wouldn’t you rather enjoy your New Year’s Eve? Wouldn’t you rather not have to worry about finishing your college applications at the deadline? If so, consider not procrastinating when it’s your turn and start way earlier in the year. There is no need to finish applications at the deadlines. It sure is a relief to finish at the buzzer, but why give yourself this added stress? Instead, you should be enjoying your New Year’s Eve and not worrying about getting your college applications in on time.
So, high school juniors and their parents, take our advice. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve. Don’t do your applications at the deadline. Give yourself ample time to write, to rewrite, to proof, and proof all over again. It’s a good strategy for the highly selective college admissions process. And it’s a good strategy for life!
While you’re here, read about the deadline extensions that impacted this past Early admissions cycle (due to Hurricane Sandy).
Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your college applications.
It never ceases to amaze us how many students wait until the very last minute to do the vast majority of the work on their college applications. College essays should not be written over winter break, right before the college application deadline. They should be written way beforehand! But we suppose saying as much changes nothing since we say the same thing every year and every year we help students at the very last minute with their college applications. It’s remarkable just how many procrastinators there are among high school students.
When students write their college essays at the very last minute, there isn’t as much opportunity to revise. And good writing is about revising, revising, revising. How many rewrites can one possibly do if the first draft of a college essay isn’t written until December 28th? Not many — considering that student only has a couple of days to get that essay in. Rarely — and by rarely we mean never — do students write a fantastic college essay on their first draft. In over twenty years of offering college admissions counseling to students around the world, we’d be hard-pressed to think of a single instance when this happened. Good writing is about rewriting. It’s true of college essay writers. It’s true of professional novelists, screenwriters, and journalists.
Is it narcissism to think that one can hammer out a remarkably compelling essay on the first draft? Perhaps. Perhaps it’s just a fundamental misunderstanding of how good writing happens. Good writing happens by taking time in between drafts, to reflect a bit. Maybe something you wrote last week was terrible but it will take a week to realize it. It’s this very sort of thing that one won’t have opportunity to realize if one waits until December 28th to write college essays. So, high school juniors, don’t make these kinds of mistakes!
Tell the truth in college admissions. Don’t lie on your application. If you’re an athlete, don’t lie on your athletic profile. For instance, you don’t think a swim coach can check your times online? They can through USA Swimming.
Telling the truth in college admissions is something that most people know they should do but so many choose not to. Maybe it’s that award you claim to have won on your varsity track team or maybe it’s an activity you claimed to have done 30 hours each week when in fact you only spent two hours a week. These kinds of lies can severely damage your chances for admission to highly selective colleges.
Some universities such as MIT actually check up on a random selection of applicants to ensure that what they put on their application is the truth. They do this in the hope of not only deterring people from lying but in the hope of catching applicants once they lie so that these students will not become members of their incoming class of admitted students. So if you’re foolish enough to lie, rest assured that there’s a decent chance you’ll get caught. And even if you do get in, if the college learns of lies on your application during your college years, they can certainly expel you for your dishonesty.
Tell the truth on your college application. Tell the truth when you share your athletic profile with college coaches. If you tell a college swim coach that you go a :54 in your 100 breastroke and then you show up unable to break a minute once you’re admitted, that college coach is going to be fuming mad. Granted, the coach should have done his homework by checking your times online (where they’re all available through USA Swimming) but he’s not going to take this easily. Maybe he’ll contact your high school or the admissions office. Your fellow swimmers will invariably know about your deceit. Is that the way you want to start off your college career? We don’t think so.
Lying on college applications is a really bad idea. It’s morally wrong. It severely jeopardizes your chances for admission. And, if you get caught, you risk not only not getting in, you risk going to jail. Just ask Adam Wheeler from Delaware, a young man who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in addition to ten years of probation for lying on his application to Harvard. Was it really worth it? Of course not! And guess what? He’s done it again!
Don't lie on your college application. You'll get caught. Just ask one Harvard applicant.
According to CBS News’ piece on the Harvard faker, after serving out his sentence, he now must undergo psychiatric evaluation for claiming he went to Harvard on his resume – a violation of his parole. And why’d he go to prison in the first place? Because he received federal financial aid funds after lying about even the high school he attended. He claimed to have attended Andover and even MIT (it’s unclear if he applied to Harvard as a transfer student but how else could he have even theoretically attended MIT if he wasn’t applying to Harvard as a transfer?).
If you’ve ever considered lying on your college application, think again. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Not in the least. If this story doesn’t sufficiently deter you, check out this post on lying on college applications along with a video of our founder, Bev Taylor, on FOX News discussing another student who lied to get into an Ivy League college.
The Common App activity essay should showcase your creativity — just like in the personal statement.
The Common App activity essay is the place within your college application to write about your most meaningful extracurricular activity. This is an activity that should absolutely appear among your other extracurricular pursuits on the application. Too often, we hear from students who want to focus on an activity that they don’t list among their other activities in an effort to highlight an aspect of themselves that admissions counselors wouldn’t otherwise know. While it’s great to highlight an aspect of yourself that an admissions counselor wouldn’t otherwise know, this activity should still be listed among your activities. It should, after all, be your most significant one.
In the Common App activity essay, it’s important to be different — just like in the personal statement and supplements. Don’t just list your accomplishments. That will come across as bragging. Don’t just tell admissions counselors how frequently you participate in the activity. They can ascertain this information outside of this essay prompt. This is your chance to showcase to admissions counselors how meaningful an activity is to you, how you’ve fully immersed yourself in this activity, and how you intend to continue to pursue this passion.
Colleges that superscore the SAT and/or ACT in the college admissions process use students’ best scores on different sections to form the best possible composite score.
You may wonder what superscoring the SAT and ACT means. Superscoring, a practice done by some colleges, is when admissions counselors combine scores from different test dates. It’s when colleges combine your best scores to reach the best possible composite score for you. There are many colleges that superscore the SAT and the ACT and we’re going to provide you with a sampling of superscoring universities.
But to give you some more clarity on superscoring the SAT and ACT, if you took the ACT on two different sittings and you scored a 28 on the math, 31 on the reading, 30 on the English, and 28 on the science on the first sitting and a 29 on the math, 30 on the reading, 29 on the English, and 28 on the science on the second sitting, your 29 math score from the second sitting would replace your 28 math score from the first sitting. You would then have an improved composite score. On the SAT, if you score a 710 on the math in the first sitting and a 780 on the second sitting, colleges that superscore the SAT will combine your 780 with your best verbal and writing scores.
So what colleges superscore, say, the ACT? Well, there’s Babson College, Amherst College, Caltech, Brown University, Boston College, Middlebury College, Pomona College, Brandeis University, Connecticut College, New York University, Tufts University, Annapolis, University of Chicago, Washington University (MO), Wesleyan University, and Colby College, to name a few. Other colleges will use your highest subscores on the ACT, but will not change your composite – or “superscore.” Check back soon for more information on superscoring the SAT and ACT. And, in the meantime, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation!
Some college admissions counselors view the practice of recruiting unqualified students to apply in order to boost their own stats to be unethical.
If you’re a student who received tons of brochures, posters, and e-mails from top universities and were surprised to then be denied admission by these very colleges that “recruited” you, you’re not alone. In recent years, colleges have increased their recruiting efforts by sending promotional material to students who they know full well have no chance of admission. They do it to boost their application numbers so their admit rate goes down and the college appears more selective. And don’t forget — college applications cost money. At an application fee of $75 to $100 the money that schools take in each year when all of these unqualified students apply adds up to a sizable sum. Just think…for the Class of 2015, the average number of applications received at all eight of the ivy league universities was over 30,000. Multiple that by $100 per application and you get $3,000,000. In this economy, this is a great source of revenue! But do you think this kind of college admissions recruiting is unethical?
Jeffrey Brenzel, Dean of Admission at Yale, seems to think that this type of college admissions recruiting isn’t right. According to “Bloomberg,” “Yale, which admitted 7.4 percent of applicants this year, cut its mailings by a third since 2005 to 80,000, Jeffrey Brenzel, dean of undergraduate admissions, said in an interview. ‘I feel obligated to be reasonable in recruiting so we’re not creating unrealistic expectations of applicants,’ Brenzel said. ‘If a student has only the most remote chance in admission, I feel it’s inappropriate to try to persuade a student to send an application.'”
If you’re wondering how in fact the colleges even get a high school student’s personal information that begins the mailing solicitations, look no further than when they sit down and take a test. On the SAT, for example, students are asked 42 questions such as what size college they’d like to go to, what sports they play, etc. According to “Bloomberg,” “While the Federal Trade Commission’s 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits personal information from being collected online from children 12 and under without ‘verifiable parental consent,’ teenagers aren’t covered by the law and neither are nonprofit companies like the College Board.”
Despite some college admissions counselors claiming that they’re scaling back these advertisements to unqualified students, we don’t anticipate this type of recruitment ending anytime soon. As long as the admission rate and number of applicants matter, colleges will do anything to make those statistics as good as possible.
Baltimore High School Says Colleges Didn’t Receive Some Admissions Material.
A principal in Baltimore’ Western High School has acknowledged that certain college application materials for a number of its high school seniors did not reach university admissions offices. Yikes! This is a mishap that should never take place with vigilant college applicants! Applicants need to make sure all of their material has been received. High school guidance counselors and guidance secretaries do make mistakes (like not submitting certain college application materials) that will adversely impact your college admissions chances.
Students need to always check to make sure all of their college application materials were received by each college. According to a WAMU release, “In a release letter, Principal Alisha Trusty said last week she learned some college admissions materials required from the all-girls public school, including transcripts, school profiles, and recommendations were not received by all the colleges students applied. Trusty said she immediately contacted the parents of 24 students who had not been accepted to any college. A spokesperson said 10 of those students were eventually admitted to a school, leaving 14 members in a class of 187 still waiting. The principal also wrote the school is investigating the cause of the oversight, and will hold the responsible parties accountable for the mishap.”