October 22nd, 2013 | University

Early action deadline extended for third year in a row

The Yale Admissions Office announced today that it will extend the deadline for early action applicants to midnight on Nov. 5, after applicants and counselors nationwide complained about defects and glitches in the new Common Application, the online undergraduate college application portal that is used by Yale and more than 500 other universities in America.

This is the third year in a row that Yale has extended its early action deadline, after a snowstorm and Hurricane Sandy affected students living in the Northeast in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Unlike this year — when the deadline extension applies to all students — the prior extensions were relevant only for students who lived in the Northeast.
The deadline, which was originally midnight on Nov. 1, was postponed because some students have experienced numerous technical difficulties ranging from frozen screens to an inability to upload the documents and essays necessary to complete an application.

“We are choosing to extend our deadline to help give students some additional time over a weekend, if needed, to work through any problems and submit their applications,” the Yale Admissions Office wrote on its website. According to the website, the Admissions Office will make exceptions for late documents when possible, and the deadline extension also applies for supporting documents from the applicant’s teachers, counselors and outside recommenders.

Several other elite private universities including the University of Chicago, Duke, Northwestern and Columbia have already extended their deadlines to Nov. 8.

“We hope this announcement helps to relieve some of the stress and anxiety you might be feeling as the application deadline approaches,” read a notice on Columbia’s admissions website.

Princeton University announced that it would accept applications submitted through the Universal College Application in addition to the Common App. The UCA is a lesser-known alternative to the Common App with only 33 member schools — but the list does include Harvard and Johns Hopkins in addition to Princeton.

The Common App, a nonprofit organized based in Arlington, VA, released a statement on Friday admitting that “for many users, the new Common Application has not been a reliable service.” But the organization is committed to fixing these technical difficulties in time for the Nov. 1 and Jan. 1 application deadlines, Common App officials said to the Washington Post.

The current iteration of the Common App was launched on August 1 with several major stylistic and substantive transformations, including a sleeker new interface and the enforcement of a strict 250 to 650 word limit.