If you thought last year's Common App made submitting college applications second in difficulty only to a quadruple backward flip off the uneven parallel bars while sticking the landing from 1000 feet above the ground (Check out,
 So, You Think You Submitted The Common App. . .), read on... 

For anyone attempting to submit a college application through the new and congenitally defective 
Common Application, please read the following --

As you watch that spinning wheel spin (with due respect to the 1969
 Blood, Sweat & Tears song), be aware that submission of PAYMENT does not constitute SUBMISSION of your applications and/or supplements on Common App. 

Submission of your applications through Common App is a multi-step process, accessed through the 
My Colleges section, under each individual college, by way of "Preview and Submission."

In brief, and without the essential elaboration, these steps are as follows:

  • Final review of your application

  • Application fee payment (if not waived)

  • Signature

Although the payment screen, should you be fortunate enough to reach same, has a SUBMIT button, and, post-payment, you are asked to hit a button marked FINALTHIS DOES NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION!!! 

What should follow payment (though usually does not) is a 
SIGNATURE screen, which, upon typing in the applicant's name, and checking off all of the silly little boxes, will then allow you to submit the actual application. [Unfortunately, due to one of the many quirks of the new Common App, the signature screen does not always appear post-payment, lulling applicants into the false belief that the application has been submitted.]


Once your application has been submitted, you must then SUBMIT the WRITING SUPPLEMENT using the Writing Supplement tab under each individual college listed in My Colleges. Thereafter, submit, in the same manner, any additional supplements, such as the ART SUPPLEMENT (for which there is typically an additional fee).

All of this, by the way, is, according to Common App, a "streamlined" process for payment and submission. [That they can't seem to figure out that PAYMENT should be the last step (as it is in the real world), not the first, boggles the mind!]

Confusing? Convoluted? Crazy beyond belief? Yes, the folks at Common App have concocted a protocol that makes the dysfunction of Congress look like mountains have been moved and seas parted. [And believe me, you don't know the half of it!]

If applying to college these days was easy, a caveman could do it. [Unfortunately, all of the cavemen have been retained by Common App to run the IT Department.] Don't go it alone and chance getting it wrong, missing a deadline, or ending up at the University of Guam (not that there's anything wrong with that)!

And please, if you insist on submitted applications under the guise of "I can do this myself without any help," don't forget to also submit your test scores to colleges requiring same directly through College Board (SAT, SATII, AP) and/or ACTstudent (ACT). Your application will not be considered complete without them!

P.S. The government shutdown does not affect the Common App. [It only seems as if it does! :-)]

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Plan. Prepare. Prevail!  

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