Nov 2, 2012

Colleges Continue Pushing Back Early Deadlines

University of Chicago

Colleges are slowly waking up to the fact that many students on the east coast simply won’t be able to get applications completed in time to meet early deadlines.

While those targeting November 1st were among the first to respond with revised due dates, colleges with later deadlines are now reassessing the likelihood that students most affected by the storm will not be able to get them in by November 15 or later.

“As a result of the storm aftermath, we have changed our Early Decision application deadline of November 15 to a soft deadline; applicants will have until December 1 to submit Early Decision applications to Syracuse University,” said  Nancy Rothschild, associate dean of admissions.  “Portfolio and audition deadlines have also been changed to December 1.”

In addition, several colleges, including Princeton University, which originally requested justifications for their extensions backed off when counselors loudly protested on behalf of students already overwhelmed with paperwork and essays.

Others have not.  The best guess is that students with access to phones or the internet should alert colleges asking for notification and then provide written justifications in the section of the application asking for “additional” information.

Note that some schools are also specifying that only those students “affected” by the storm should take advantage of later due dates.  Some continue to attach the term “flexible” to their storm statements leaving us to wonder just exactly what that means.

Still others, such as the University of Chicago, have given up setting a deadline and are asking for applications to come in as soon as “feasible.”

As an added aggravation, students can’t depend on the Common Application to update deadlines provided on their member requirement grid. 

Although colleges are notifying the Common App of extensions to ensure the software is adjusted to allow late submission, officials have announced that deadlines provided on the website will not be updated.  You have to find the information elsewhere.

Luckily other organizations are working to fill the gap. Expanding on a list begun here immediately after the storm, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) put out a request to member colleges for information on plans to postpone early deadlines.  Their list is being updated daily but provides very few specifics and only links to websites (and sometimes they’re not working).  The NY Times is also building a list.

As always, the best sources of information are the colleges themselves.  It’s almost certain that deadlines will require further adjustment down the line, so keep checking back.

Again, the best advice to students is to complete the process of applying early as soon as you are able.  If you don’t need the extension, why drag out the process a minute longer than necessary?

And for those truly affected by the storm—stay safe.  You no doubt have other more important things to deal with, and colleges really do understand.

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