Prospective students experience application process issues

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    Although the Common Application is functioning, it continues to experience glitches, Dean of Admission Ray Brown said.

    The Common App streamlines the admission process by allowing potential students to apply to multiple places with one form that is accepted by all member schools.

    When the new version of the application went online at midnight on Aug. 1 of last year, the site displayed a variety of issues and crashed after just five minutes, Brown said. 

    Brown compared the Common App crash to the problem-plagued rollout of the HealthCare.gov website on Oct. 1 of last year. 

    “It’s been a real issue for lots of colleges, but interestingly, it has not affected all colleges the same, nor has it affected all students the same,” he said.

    While applications were down 30 percent at one point, Brown said the university has made up the “vast majority” of that setback. 

    “It was a nightmare,” said Elizabeth Rainwater, director of admission communication and marketing. “But what I did to help was to clarify to the students what they should do.”

    In response to issues with the Common App, TCU pushed back its Nov. 1 early-action deadline to Nov. 8.

    Rainwater said she began to direct prospective students to the university’s own application and posted a notice on the Office of Admission’s website to notify applicants that the Common App was experiencing issues. 

    A third option for applying to the university is filling out the ApplyTexas application, a common form used by all public universities in Texas as well as participating private institutions and community colleges. 

    “Whenever I sent out the emails to the prospect pool, rather than linking them to the page with all of the options, I just linked them directly to the TCU application because that was functioning,” Rainwater said.

    The final deadline for first-year admission is Feb. 15.