Complaints About Coalition Application

Some counselors report frustrations as early-decision deadlines loom.

October 29, 2018

This is a key week in competitive college admissions, with Nov. 1 early-decision deadlines looming at many colleges.

Many counselors have been posting complaints online in the last week saying that parts of the application of the Coalition for College are not working well or are not working at all. The coalition was formed in 2015 in response in part to technical problems experienced by the Common Application in 2013 (problems that have not repeated themselves recently). Most coalition members are also members of the Common Application, but some colleges in the coalition only accept applications that way, making counselors particularly frustrated as they say their students have no alternatives.

Among the problems reported in the last week or so:

  • Counselors getting multiple automated emails with either the same or contradictory requests about students using the application.
  • Instructions that many students and counselors find confusing.
  • A lack of flexibility in the order in which students are able to complete the application.
  • Inconsistencies between what is stated on the coalition website and what is on some member colleges' websites.
  • Difficulty in creating new accounts.
  • Difficulty for teachers in creating forms to complete recommendations.

Annie Reznik, executive director of the coalition, has been posting responses to the various complaints, pointing people to guides and generally expressing sympathy.

Via email, she said that "there is undoubtedly room for improvement -- which we will make."

But she said that "nothing has broken nor is there a functional problem. I think that the frustration stems from the following: more students and counselors are using the system and I think that growth is exposing user problems that were less evident when we had fewer student and counselor users."


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