November 27, 2012, 12:36pm, Topics: SAT deadline, early decision, SAT subject tests, SAT II, extended deadline, hurricane sandy, late applications
Hurricane Sandy made a stressful time more hectic for college applicants hoping to get accepted via early admission. Despite the accommodations made for students affected by the storm — colleges and universities have extended their early admission deadlines and the Nov. 3 SAT test date was postponed for more than 300 test centers — another wrinkle has emerged.
The SAT subject tests, which would have been taken in time to complete an early college application, are now being held too late for some universities’ revised early admission deadlines.
Most of the makeup tests for the Nov. 3 SAT have been rescheduled to the weekend of Nov. 17 or the weekend of Dec. 15 (two weeks after the regularly scheduled Dec. 1 test date), said Kathleen Steinberg, a spokeswoman for the College Board, which administers the SAT. Students will receive an e-mail from Test Administration Services to confirm their official makeup test date, she said.
Even if those students take the test on Nov. 17, however, they may still miss the early admission deadlines of several colleges and universities whose extended deadlines have already passed.
To further accommodate these students, some colleges have announced changes to their SAT subject test requirement, signaling more flexibility among colleges and universities as the weather continues to upend this year’s early admission calendar.
Harvard — which is allowing late applications from students affected by the storm — will still evaluate early-action applicants with any available information on a holistic basis. If an early applicant is deferred to the regular admission round, new test records can be considered, admission officers announced on the university’s Web site.
Boston College — which on Friday extended its restrictive early action deadline again to Nov. 13 — has agreed to review early applications pending the receipt of subject test scores from students affected by the storm who are taking the test on Nov. 17.
Columbia University is waiving its SAT subject test requirementfor students who are registered to take the test for the first time on Nov. 17, as long as those students show proof of registration.
Columbia applicants who planned to take the SAT for the first time on Nov. 17 should plan to apply regular decision, admission officers advised on the school’s Web site.
Eric J. Furda, the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, said that admission officers at the university are working with early applicants on an individual basis. “There are different levels of extenuating circumstances,” Mr. Furda said. “We’re seeing people who have lost power to people who have lost their homes.”
Penn extended its early-decision deadline to Nov. 6 and is flexible for students who are unable to take or retake the SAT on time; it is also making necessary adjustments for teachers who may have been unable to meet their deadline for submitting a recommendation letter.
Penn requires that students take either three tests that include the SAT and two SAT subject tests, or a combination of the ACT and the ACT writing test. Mr. Furda is encouraging applicants to contact their regional admission officer if they have concerns about sending their scores in on time.
“We have a heightened level of sensibility to those students that were affected by the storm,” Mr. Furda said.
It is unclear how many students registered for the Nov. 3 test date with the intention of taking the SAT subject tests, and how many intended to improve their original SAT scores. But admission officers who have been flexible thus far seem likely to review students’ early applications on a holistic basis, even if their (best) test scores are still pending.
“That would be a reason why we would defer a student under early decision — pending test scores or grades,” Mr. Furda said.
Of course, some students may opt to forgo early admission and apply by the regular admission deadline, which at many institutions is Jan. 1.