Early decision deadline extended due to snowstorm

Penn Admissions has extended the application deadline from Tuesday, Nov. 1 to Friday, Nov. 4 to accomodate students who faced power outages

· November 2, 2011, 12:13 am   ·  Updated November 3, 2011, 12:19 am

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Due to last weekend’s Northeastern snowstorm, the Admissions Office has extended its early decision application deadline from Tuesday, Nov. 1 to this Friday.

Penn Admissions’ website posted a message telling applicants that “due to the impact of storms, including power outages and school closings, Penn’s Office of Admissions will keep The Common Application and Penn Supplement live for Early Decision through Friday, November 4th.”

Although this extended deadline is intended for students who “have been impacted directly,” Admissions will not be looking into every case to make sure the students were truly impacted, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said.

Penn alerted applicants through a direct message through the Common App, Furda said, adding that the message was sent to all applicants who had started their applications but had not clicked send.

Some other schools also extended early application deadlines due to the storm. Yale, Cornell and Columbia universities extended their deadlines to Nov. 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Dartmouth College’s deadline was extended to Nov. 7.

The Common Application also posted a message alerting all students who had not submitted early decision applications of the change.

The deadline was extended four days, Furda said, because “in order to submit the applications, you need power.” He added that guidance counselors may also have been unable to send in forms due to schools being closed.

Furda also expressed concern that some schools would still be closed through Friday.

Zachary Slayback, a senior at Somerset High School in Somerset, Pa., was relatively unaffected by the surprise snowfall last weekend.

“While there were outages in my town, I didn’t have any issues with internet or power,” he said. He was able to send his early decision application materials by Sunday.

He didn’t hear about the new deadline until he logged into Penn Portal with his new login information. Slayback said no matter how much time an applicant puts into his work, they think they would benefit from a few extra days — “especially if you’re a perfectionist like me.”

However, “while I was momentarily irked about it, I realized that there probably wasn’t much more that I could have done,” Slayback said. “There probably could have been minor improvements,” but nothing substantial enough to place him in front of or behind other applicants.

Shamil Sharif, a senior at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill., first heard about the delayed deadline through a message from the Admission’s Office.

“It was kind of vague,” he said, as it explained that the delayed deadline only applied to those affected by power shortages.

However, since Sharif lives in an unaffected area, he submitted his application the night of Nov. 1, the original early decision deadline.

“If I knew the date would have been pushed back, I would have procrastinated a bit more on my essays,” said Emily Lipson, a senior from Francis W. Parker High School in Illinois, who submitted her early decision application on Monday, Oct. 31.

Lipson, who applied to other schools through non-binding early action, said the storm did not affect her ability to submit her applications on time.

She was unaware of the storm until she received an email from Penn Admissions.

“It did annoy me a little because any extra time is an advantage,” Lipson added.

Victor Gamez, Sarah Gadsden and Breanne Medford contributed to this article.

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