It's pretty much common knowledge to anyone familiar with the college application process: The Common Application, commonly known as Common App, goes "live" for 2015-16 on August 1. [One might argue as to the definition of "life" in the world of college applications and admissions, but, as Mr. Spock might say, "It is life, Captain, but not as we know it!"]

What most folks do not know is that the current year's online applications, now available on Common App's platform, go dark on July 23rd.

Wiped out of the system in their entirety. Gone. Lost to the ages. As if, in some bizarre Mission Impossible scenario, these applications never existed at all.

READ, Common App temporarily goes off line to prepare for 2015-16 launch.

Never mind that, come July 24th, there will be 101 Common App member colleges still accepting applications for this fall. As far as the brain trust at Common App is concerned, as of July 23rd, you never had an online application.

Sure, come back on or after August 1 and reinvent the wheel (albeit Common App's spinning wheel of death). And should you decide, next year, you'd like to submit a transfer application to a Common App member college, you can start from scratch. [Not necessarily a bad thing, assuming you would like to then "identify" yourself as Hispanic...].

Would it make sense for Common App to maintain current applications as active for, say, at least two years, thus permitting students access for purposes of new application, re-application, transfer, or simply to review information? Of course.

Why not archive applications, giving students the ability to pull up their information at any given future date while they are still in school? Too easy.

Is the server capacity at Common App so limited that it cannot store all the information and data so painstakingly entered by thousands of students? It would seem that way, given that current students, particularly during peak periods, have difficulty accessing their applications, supplements, and so on. Hey. Who would think that more than two people would log on at the very same time? Apparently, not the folks at Common App!

So, a few words to the wise:

Current High School Seniors: If you have yet to apply to college, or are considering applying to a Common App member college, do so before July 23rd. Save your applications on your computers as PDFs or print them out. If you need any of the info you input into your Common App, get it now. Once July 23rd rolls around, it will be too late!

Current College Students Seeking To Transfer: If the college you're thinking about is on Common App, and you've started an application between last August 1 and today, complete and submit your application(s) before July 23rd. [If you are looking for last season's application, the one you spent months creating for 2014-15, as they say in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit!]

Current High School Juniors/Rising Seniors: Now is the time to create an account on Common App, become familiar with the mechanics of the platform as well as the content of the applications and available supplements. Play around. Have fun with it. The 2015-16 Common App will be much as you see it, but for some of the Common App essay prompts, and, perhaps, individual college's supplemental questions. Just remember – On July 23rd the fun and games are over. You start again, for real, on or after August 1!

Could Common App have thought this out, implementing measures that would truly give meaning to its professed mission statement: "...providing reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process?" Sure.

Then again, the pinheads in charge in Washington at the Department of Education (oxymoron?) could have easily grandfathered in the PIN for students already in the system, rather than requiring everyone to get an FSA-ID.

And what was College Board's stated mission again? Something about expanding access to higher education and advocacy on behalf of students?

Please. Don't get me started!
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