Colleges Extend Application Deadlines After Hurricane Sandy

Katy Hopkins

Early decision applicants who haven't submitted their materials may still be in luck.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, more than 70 colleges have extended deadlines or are still accepting applications from hopeful prospective students.

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On the growing list, compiled by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), are institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Houston's Rice University, Virginia Tech, and all 19 colleges in the City University of New York system.

Some schools on the list have extended their deadlines for early decision or early action applicants, while other institutions note that, since their deadlines are rolling, applications are still being accepted without a formal extension. NACAC says it will continue to update its list in the coming days, and encourages prospective students to reach out to individual schools for further updates.

The deadline extension can vary by institution. Babson College in Massachusetts, for instance, pushed its early decision and early action deadlines from November 1 to 5, while Virginia's Emory and Henry College will accept early decision materials until November 23. If that's still too tight a deadline, some colleges may continue to be lenient, depending on an individual's situation.

The College of Charleston, for example, will accept E-mail requests for further extensions from prospective students who "live in a storm-impacted area and are unable to submit application materials by November 5 for weather-related reasons," according to the school's website.

"We have deadlines, but we also need to exercise a degree of compassion for candidates," says Don Burkard, associate vice president for enrollment planning at the College of Charleston.

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Application extensions were encouraged by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who on Wednesday Tweeted that "it's the right thing to do."

"Many colleges and universities have recognized the unanticipated difficulties that students are facing in completing their college applications, and some institutions have already extended their deadlines," Duncan said separately, in a Department of Education release. "We encourage other institutions to consider being as flexible as possible in the coming weeks to accommodate students whose lives were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy."

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