Eighteen-year-old Nina Mortensen was sitting at her computer at her home in Queens, N.Y. on Monday evening putting the final touches on her NYU Early Decision I application.
Mortensen, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science in Bronx, N.Y. is applying for a place in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business’ freshman class next year.
She was editing her responses to the questions on NYU’s supplement when suddenly the power went out due to Hurricane Sandy.
“I was in shock,” she said. “… I prayed for the power to come back.”
Worried she would miss the Nov. 1 deadline for the ED I application, Mortensen waited out the storm and ran to a friend’s house to finish her application in the aftermath early the next day.
Just as she sat down at her friend’s computer, Mortensen learned the ED deadline had been changed.
According to Shawn Abbott, assistant vice president of admissions, NYU has extended the Nov. 1 ED I and spring transfer application deadlines to Nov. 5 at 11:59 p.m. for applicants living on the East Coast. The admissions office also canceled admissions tours and open houses originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4.
Mortensen is one of many NYU hopefuls affected by power outages along the East Coast.
“Hurricane Sandy has come at an incredibly inconvenient time for all seniors,” Mortensen said. “It was really a relief to know that NYU was understanding enough to realize the difficulties some of us with power outages were facing.”
Even ED I applicants who have already submitted their applications are concerned their high school guidance counselors will be unable to submit recommendation letters due to school closings.
“[My school’s] classes were canceled for the entire week, which meant I had no contact with my guidance counselor whatsoever,” said ED applicant Will Tavlin, 17, a senior at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J. “…I was a bit worried, but I knew ultimately that either NYU would extend their deadline, or that they would accept my late forms. There was simply no way for me to send them in time.”
Camp Hill, Pa. resident and Camp Hill High School senior Alexandra Jones, 17, was in a similar situation.
“My high school was closed on Monday and Tuesday which prevented me from talking to my guidance counselor about admissions,” Jones said. “If NYU had not given an extension I wouldn’t have been able to get all of my teacher recommendations in order in time to apply.”
Students who submit applications by the new Nov. 5 deadline will be notified of acceptance by Dec. 15. Abbott said the admissions office may extend that date as well.
“We will work overtime to [meet the Dec. 15 deadline], but if power is not restored by the weekend we very well may have to push back our notification date,” Abbott said.
Abbott reminded students who are unable to meet the Nov. 5 deadline that they may still be considered early if they submit applications by the Early Decision II deadline on Jan. 1. Because the admissions office does not forecast the number of ED applications the university will receive each year, Abbott is unsure of whether fewer students will apply.
“We simply need to wait and see,” Abbott said. “We will work with students affected by the hurricane, within reason, to ensure they can be considered for Early Decision admission.”
Some ED applicants believe the deadline should be extended further.
“In my opinion the fifth is still too soon,” said Thomas Norton, 18, an applicant from Hoboken, N.J. who submitted his application before the hurricane hit. “I know a lot of schools in New Jersey that aren’t opening their doors until Tuesday, and most people in Hoboken haven’t been guaranteed their power until Tuesday. Hopefully NYU will be a little lenient for those kids.”
Nicola Pring is features editor. Additional reporting by Katya Barannik and Carrie Courogen. Katya Barannik is deputy features editor. Carrie Courogen is a senior editor. Email them at email@example.com.
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