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Hurrican Sandy motivates Elon to extend application deadline

November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy’s impact reached the doors of college admissions offices.

Elon University’s admissions demonstrated sensitivity toward those affected by Hurricane Sandy and extended the deadline for early decision and early action applicants.

“It shows we’re in tune with what is going on in people’s lives,” said Greg Zaiser, vice president of admissions and financial planning.

The early decision deadline moved from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5, and the university received 1,400 applicants. Additionally, the early action deadline, the most popular deadline under which students apply, extended until Nov. 12.

The areas impacted, which include New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania account for an estimated 30 percent of Elon applicants, according to Zaiser.

Nevertheless, he said the university would have extended the deadline regardless of which area was hit out of concern for those suffering in our nation.

“It’s just responsible,” he said. “More than anything it’s to be sensitive. These people are suffering beyond belief. That goal is to be sensitive to people.”

Faculty members in admissions communicated the extension using social media platforms, as well as the university website. Furthermore, regional representatives informed people in person following the storm.

“In a very electronic age, we still did grassroots to make sure the staff knew immediately,” Zaiser said.

Although the university initiated the deadline extension, Zaiser said he his mindful that Elon still offers a regular deadline. He advised a student to take advantage of the final deadline rather than rushing through the application after experiencing nine days without power.

Nationally, university admissions offices have introduced similar practices, he said.

In previous years snow storms have provoked university admissions to change application deadlines.

“Weather wreaks havoc on deadlines,” Zaiser said.

While such events usually occurred during the winter months, the fall has exhibited destructive patterns.

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