October 24, 2013

Cornell Pushes Early Admissions Deadline After Common App Glitches

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By CAROLINE FLAX

After students and admissions officers alike struggled to access the Common Application’s website earlier this month, Cornell announced Thursday that it pushed its early decision admissions and financial aid deadline from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.

Since Common Application launched a new version of its website Aug. 1, students and high school guidance counselors have had trouble accessing its online application fee payment system and filling out recommendations. Vice Provost Barbara Knuth said the University extended its early decision deadline to accommodate students who have had technical problems using Common Application.

“We are aware of the anxiety prospective students may be feeling at a time when they should be filled with excitement at the future possibilities before them,” Knuth said in a University press release. “We would like to assure them we are monitoring the situation with the Common Application and taking measures at Cornell to mitigate the challenges.”

Cornell will be among at least three Ivy league schools that have pushed early decision deadlines. Columbia University and Dartmouth College both announced they would be extending their deadlines earlier this week, according to The Dartmouth.

Prospective freshmen took to Twitter to express their excitement over the deadline being extended.

Hannah Jacon echoed Stryker’s sentiment, expressing her excitement about the announcement.

Locke also said that the Common Application’s new system has been experiencing “significant challenges” since the application launched Aug. 1.

“Many aspects of the system simply weren’t thoroughly tested and should not have been launched,” he said in an email Oct. 17.

He added that, in the last few months, these problems have resulted in more prospective students calling the admissions office than in past years.

“In August and September we experienced double-digit increases in telephone calls to the Undergraduate Admissions Office,” he said. “We attribute the increased telephone traffic to students, parents and guidance counselors having problems with the Common Application.”

Cornell’s admissions office has since created a page on its website addressing the frequently asked questions regarding the Common Application’s technical difficulties, the press release said.

Almost a dozen other schools have changed their early admissions deadlines because of issues with the Common Application, including Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Syracuse University, according to The New York Times.

Cornell will be emailing all prospective freshmen who are already in the process of applying to the University — as well as high school guidance counselors — about the extended deadline, according to the press release.

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