Yale to e-mail early decision applicants

Susanna Moore, an applicant to Yale’s class of 2006, breathed a sigh of relief in late October when she dropped her finished application in the mailbox.

But now Moore is again holding her breath, waiting for confirmation that her application made it from her home in Holly Springs, Miss. to 38 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven.

Moore, like one-third of this year’s early decision applicants, will have to wait a little longer than expected.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Richard Shaw said the admissions office — for the first time this year — will send e-mails to every applicant who provided an e-mail address. The e-mails will confirm that the University has received their application despite recent anthrax-related postal system problems.

“I will be glad to be notified, especially with all that’s going on,” said Moore, who added that she has not heard from Yale yet.

Shaw said some of the confirmation e-mails — which were supposed to be sent on Monday — will be delayed a week. The admissions office was flexible about the Nov. 1 early decision deadline because of anthrax scares and the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, so some applications arrived late. This resulted in data entry delays, and only two-thirds of the confirmation e-mails were sent on time.

“By Nov. 19, everyone will be informed,” Shaw said.

Shaw said he was worried about receiving all applications when several major mail distribution centers were shut down in late October.

But he said judging by the number of applications that the admissions office has received so far, he thinks the “vast majority” have made it to the admissions office.

“My sense is that the jams [in the postal system] have have been cleared,” Shaw said.

Despite the minor data entry delay, Shaw said the admissions office is actually ahead of last year in terms of processing applications, which involves preparing them for evaluation.

Shaw said he will not know for a week or two whether decisions will be delayed, but he expects them to be mailed out in mid-December as usual.

He said getting applications on the admissions office’s computer system would be easier if more students had applied online, an option that has been available for the past several years.

Applying online saves the admissions office unnecessary keystrokes and prevents applicants from having problems with the postal system, Shaw said.

He added that while the number of online applications has increased since last year, some students are leery of taking advantage of the new technology.

“Students sometimes worry that if they don’t use a quill pen and bottled ink they will be at a huge disadvantage,” Shaw said. “Whatever way they apply, we consider them as a serious candidate.”

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