Record number of 2021 college applicants postpones decision day for some schools

May+1st+as+typically+been+known+as+%22decision+day%22+for+colleges%2C+serving+as+the+last+day+students+can+accept+their+offer.+This+year%2C+some+schools+have+extended+this+date.+

Matthew Kim

May 1st as typically been known as “decision day” for colleges, serving as the last day students can accept their offer. This year, some schools have extended this date.

Matthew Kim, Segments Editor

The 2020-2021 college admissions cycle has been unlike any other year. Admissions to top universities have skyrocketed, with colleges reporting jumps of 20%, 60%, and even 100%. Consequently, this year has proven to be one of the toughest years to gain admission to a top university and acceptance rates have plummeted across the board. 

“I think this year has definitely been hard for college admissions. I know that the UCs saw an increase of 18% in their applicant pool. For me personally, I was accepted into some target schools but then waitlisted a lot of my safety schools, but I’m still really grateful for the admissions I’ve gotten,” said Grace Chen (‘21).

With most universities having released their decisions, students now face the challenging decision of selecting the university they will attend. This year, Covid-19 has exacerbated the usual uncertainty surrounding this major decision, as travel restrictions and health concerns have prevented seniors from visiting prospective colleges during the summer and winter breaks. 

“This year has definitely been hard in terms of visiting colleges because of Covid and everything. I think moving commitment day is definitely a smart idea especially because things are getting better and traveling may be much easier and less dangerous,” said Suhas Nagar (‘21).

While historically, May 1st has been National College Decision Day, the deadline to commit to a university, a growing number of schools are planning on extending this deadline to allow students more flexibility and time amidst the year’s unique circumstances.  

“It’s definitely important for schools to extend the deadline. I have a friend who’s being forced to choose between two schools and because he is unable to visit it has made his decision much harder. Extending the deadline will allow students to make an educated decision about one of the most important decisions in their life,” said Aryan Singh (‘21).

Arguably the most prestigious group of universities,The Ivy League, has already announced that they will be there extending decision day to May 3rd. This extended deadline reflects the Ivy Leagues decision to release their decisions a week later than usual. 

Additionally, for many smaller universities, extending this deadline will allow schools to meet their target numbers in terms of enrollment. Queens university in North Carolina moved its commitment day from May 1st all the way to June 15th.

The extended deadline for decision day will allow seniors to visit more schools and to have more time to consider this important decision. This year has been filled with challenges and setbacks for applicants and as National Decision Day comes closer, universities have shown they are trying to adapt to the circumstances in order to help their students.