From The Common App:
Greetings from Arlington, VA, where we are finalizing plans to launch the 2014-15 Common Application tomorrow, August 1, at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Forty years ago, fifteen forward-thinking institutions of higher education, in an effort to simplify the process of applying to college, created a “common” application that today is shared by more than 500 universities and colleges and has made a real contribution to equity, access and integrity in the college process. We are proud of our history and are looking forward to working with you and your prospective college applicants this coming academic year.
For many of you the Common App is old hat but, for first-timers getting started is a snap. The student completes the Education and FERPA sections of the application and when she/he is ready to bring recommenders into the mix, it is a simple matter for a counselor or others to be “invited” to participate.
Because technology, in particular, can have hiccups – a screen does not immediately appear or is temporarily unavailable – I want you to know that we are standing by (and ready) for anyone with a question or concern about our application. One of the benefits of having so many Member Institutions is that we often find out about something in time to be able to post the word in advance, which we will do. Regardless, please know you can count on us when you need us, we will respond promptly, and stay with you until the job is done.
Recognizing that oftentimes you are the first line of support, if not an initiator, a few additional pointers:
- If you have a question or would like support, please contact us at any time through the Recommender Help Center. This portal is also a great place for general information, tips, resources, and news about the Common App.
- This year we are piloting live support for Recommenders through a chat feature, which will be available initially from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday beginning in early September.
- Prospective Applicants needing assistance should reach out to us through the Help Center. There they will find a comprehensive FAQ resource covering all aspects of the application. By clicking on the “Ask a Question” tab, they can contact a member of our support team and we will be in touch promptly.
- Prospective Applicants who navigate to a college’s member page that is not yet published will see a message explaining that the college and the Common App are working together to finalize the questions. At that time they also will see tips on how to move forward with other parts of the application process in the meantime.
- For those of you that also work with the Naviance product, know that that system also goes live on August 1, as will our integration with Parchment.
- And, as I mentioned already, all counselors can ‘opt-in’ to use the Common App Recommender System by responding to the invitation email from a Prospective Applicant.
As I close, please know that I also am here to assist. If at any time you wish to contact me, please do so, or – better still – Tania Rachkoskie, our Director of Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best way to reach me is via the e-mail address at the bottom of the page.
We want the college admission process to be smooth and “uneventful” for everyone. To endeavor to make that happen we rely on your help in directing to us anyone that has a question or an issue, so thank you in advance for partnering with us, especially in this important regard.
If I had one ask it would be that you please encourage the young people with which you work to take full advantage of the unparalleled access to the tremendously rich and diverse opportunities presented by the over 500 universities and colleges that are Members of the Common Application.
I know I speak for my entire staff when I say how privileged we feel being able to play even a small role in the work you do. Best wishes for a rewarding and productive new school year.