In anticipation of power outages affecting the East Coast as Hurricane Sandy approaches, Cornell and dozens of other universities have extended their deadlines for early applications.
All Cornell hopefuls will have until midnight on Nov. 5 to submit their application, including forms and recommendations sent by their school, according to the University’s undergraduate admissions office’s website. Previously, the University’s deadline for early decision applicants was Nov. 1.
Claudia Wheatley, director of press relations for the University, confirmed Monday afternoon that Cornell issued its extension in response to the hurricane.
“Because of Hurricane Sandy, the [admissions office] anticipates that there will be power outages all over the northeast in the next couple of the days. We know it will be very hard for students to get anything done on time, yet alone an application for college,” Wheatley said.
She added that it is not “terribly unusual” for the University to extend deadlines for applications.
“It happens frequently that deadlines are extended because of hurricanes. One year, there was a terrible snowstorm in Buffalo. The weather can sometimes make it necessary to extend deadlines for applications,” she said.
For Ben Stevens, who is applying to Cornell early decision, the University's decision to extend its application deadline was a "huge relief."
"I think by now, even the procrastinators are done with essays, but the storm and deadline extension give us that last chance to make some edits so long as power goes out," he said.
Besides Cornell, Boston University, Columbia University, Duke University, Yale University and many other schools have extended their early application deadlines. Collectively, the schools cited a range of reasons for extending deadlines: inclement weather striking, Internet connections cutting out, and high schools closing, which would prevent guidance counselors from sending in application materials.
Some schools chose not to extend deadlines for all applicants. Harvard said that it would be flexible with applicants who submit their materials late — whether the delay was caused by the hurricane or by other “good” reasons.
“If there is a good reason for not being able to meet a deadline (whether it be a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy or a personal challenge), we are happy to accept late applications and support materials,” its admissions website stated.
Other schools said they would accept late applications from students who are directly affected by the storm.
“We are extending our Early Decision deadline to November 8th for students that live in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy,” the University of Rochester said on its admissions website.
Several students, taking to online forums and universities’ admissions blogs, expressed elation over the decision to extend early application deadlines. Six hours after publishing a post announcing its deadline extension, the University of Chicago saw its admissions blog flooded by celebratory comments.
One student wrote, “THANK YOU SO MUCH UCHICAGO!! i was so afraid my power would go out before I got everything in!!”
Another reblogged the post and added, “YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE … ”