Wednesday, December 31, 2008

College admissions: deadlines and congestion

One modern convenience for high school seniors applying to college in 2008 is the Common Application, which lets them cut down on the number of times that they have to type in their social security numbers and middle names. But, as the end-of-2008 application deadline approaches, the fact that many people wait for the deadline combines with the fact that many now use the Common Application to create some congestion, the NY Times reports: Applications for Colleges Clog System

"On Tuesday, from 6:30 to 6:50 p.m., and on Wednesday from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., there was a slowdown at the Common Application Web site, which handles online applications for some 350 colleges and universities. With the clock ticking toward a Jan. 1 deadline, the briefest delay can feel like a full-blown crisis to panicky high school seniors. ...

"More than a million high school seniors use the Common Application. Last year, the organization said that more than 171,000 applications were filed in the 72 hours from Dec. 30 through Jan. 1., 75,000 of them on Dec. 31.
Seth Allen, dean of admission at Grinnell College and president of the Common Application, said many students worked on their applications for weeks but waited until the deadline to submit them.
“I think having an online application has exacerbated waiting till the last minute,” Mr. Allen said, “and if they’re getting timed out on the site, on New Year’s Eve day, that’s certainly going to make them nervous.” "

1 comment:

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Note that many colleges place significant weight on how actually well your application "demonstrates interest" in their school.