Duke has extended its deadline for early decision applicants by one week as a result of technological issues with the Common Application.
The Common Application—an online application used by more than 500 schools—overhauled its system for this year, and glitches have been reported since the application went live in August. Duke’s extension will not change the process of evaluating applications or the timeline for releasing decisions, said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions.
“We thought that it would be wise to get out in front of the issue a little bit and to offer an extension,” Guttentag said. “We considered waiting longer, but thought that the time was right with about two weeks to go.”
The deadline, which was originally Nov. 1, is now Nov. 8. The University informed prospective students of the extension via an email sent to every high school senior on Duke’s contact list, as well as any other student who had begun an application to the school.
Duke is not the only university to issue an extension due to the glitches. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northwestern University and Georgia Tech University, among others, have also given prospective students an extra week to submit their applications.
This is not the first time that the University has had to extend an application deadline, Guttentag noted. But in most cases, the move has been made due to severe weather—such as last year, when an extension was granted due to Hurricane Sandy.
“This is the first time that I can remember that a technological issue has led to a deadline extension,” he said.
Decisions will most likely be released by mid-December, as is typically the case, Guttentag said. Although the later deadline will result in longer hours for admissions staff, it will not cause any changes in the process of reading and evaluating the applications, he noted.
“What was important for us is to reassure students—and their families and school personnel—that we were going to give every applicant the same attention and the same careful evaluation as before [the technological issues],” Guttentag said.