Campus, News

BU extends early decision deadline due to Common App tech. glitches

Due to issues applicants have experienced with the Common Application, Boston University Admissions officially extended the deadline for early decision applications by two weeks, said BU spokesman Colin Riley.

The original deadline for early decision applications was Nov. 1, and has been moved to Nov. 15, Riley said. He said the admissions process will not be substantially affected, and students will still receive their decisions by mid-December.

“We don’t really like to [change the deadline], and we want to stay with the deadline, but at the same time, we want to be willing to accommodate the students who are applying,” Riley said.

Kelly Walter, associate vice president and executive director of admissions, said in an email that BU’s admissions processes have been affected along with many other colleges and universities.

“We are aware that the changes to the Common Application have resulted in some students encountering difficulties submitting their applications and secondary school credentials,” Walter said. “Our processes have been impacted as well, and we are working with the Common Application to resolve the technical problems as quickly as possible.”

In a Tuesday press release, Aba Blankson, director of communications for the Common App, said the application platform has been experiencing technical problems that have made it difficult for some students to meet application deadlines.

“The most frequently reported problems have involved errors when attempting to login, credit card payments that take a day or more to register, and the resulting delay in submitting an application,” Blankson said.

Blankson said the Common App is working closely with Hobsons, the developer of the new Common App online system, to fix these issues as soon as possible.

“We are committed to resolving these issues promptly, and we are encouraged that application submissions are up 25 percent over the same period last year, an indication that the system is functioning properly for the majority of users,” Blankson said.

Blankson said while these issues have not impacted all users of the Common App, they have increased the anxiety for students during an already stressful process.

“These issues also have the potential to impact processes and deadlines for our member colleges, and we are especially appreciative of colleges that have taken steps to reassure students and parents,” Blankson said.

Riley said this is not the first time BU Admissions officials have extended the application deadline. He said it has extended its deadline during events that affect large amounts of people and their ability to submit their applications on time.

In the past, Riley said BU extended the application deadline during natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“Whenever people are impacted we take that into consideration, and certainly in this case, it is prudent and it’ll reduce the anxiety in people who are stressed out on whether they are able to get their applications in on time,” Riley said.

Riley said BU officials saw the necessity in extending the deadline once several applicants reported experiencing issues with the Common App.

“I am sure once they [Common App] were experiencing these issues, they probably said, ‘Well, let’s see if we can work them [the issues] out, and whether this had any impact on people being able to make the deadline,’” Riley said. “I am sure it’s just being prudent and giving people an opportunity.”

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