I chuckle at the way in which the Keep Calm phrase has taken off. And it certainly is appropriate to reference now at a time when there is a great deal of anxiety and frustration about the new Common Application. As with any new system, there is a learning curve for navigating this new application. It is compounded by the fact that parts of the application and access to the Common Application do not work consistently.
So what advice to I give students and school counselors at this time? First, students should continue to work on the application. I suggest not waiting until the deadline to work on and submit the application. It appears that volume surges around deadlines will have an impact on access. Second, a number of people have begun to share tips that they have found to be helpful when completing the application. I found one article that was particularly helpful to guide students through some of the nuances of the new Common Application. Third, use the resources that the Common Application has made available, such as the Common Application Facebook page, the Common Application knowledge center of known issues, as well as the Common Application twitter feed.
When I spoke to our Open House guests on Sunday, I reassured students and parents that UVM will be flexible with students and counselors as they navigate this application. We will determine if deadlines need to be extended. We remind students and counselors that transcripts and supporting materials do not need to be received by the application deadline. Our application deadline is just that; it is not a completion deadline. We also ask that counselors continue to work with the Common Application system to send transcripts rather than resorting to sending transcripts in the mail. Information about changes in deadlines will be shared via email to students and we will post information on our website.
This is the time to Keep Calm and Apply to College. We want encourage students to allow time to finish their applications in order to work through any issues they might encounter. At the same time, we will ensure that students will be able to apply to UVM using the Common Application and we will work with students on any challenges they may have. We’ve had more than 1,200 students successfully send us their application through the new Common Application. We hope that you will send yours as well!