Heavy traffic on site is cited as problem
Additional reporting by Allison Elvove
The University of Maryland, College Park's (UMCP) Priority Decision application deadline of Wednesday, Dec. 1 has been postponed to Wednesday, Dec. 8 due to heavy traffic on the online application.
Zina Evans, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said that when the university realized the high level of interest in the online application on Nov. 30, the admissions office decided to upgrade the site in order to prevent future technical difficulties. "We have increased the robustness of our web site and added a few more features," said Evans. In the past, she noted that more students sent in Part II of the application via mail. However, this year, the online option was more popular, so the process of submitting through UMCP's web site was slowed. Admissions therefore "felt that it would be advantageous to them and students" to extend the deadline.
Several Blair students were affected by UMCP's technical problems, and senior Sheri Lawal was especially annoyed with the issues she encountered on the site. "I was mad because I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on [Nov. 30] to turn in [my application]. I was ready to turn everything in on Monday night, but the web site was going so slow, and I knew that on [Dec. 1], it would probably be really slow," she said.
Evans acknowledged this frustration but stated that the new additions to the web application should prevent potential technical difficulties from arising in the future.
Senior Emily O'Brien, however, was irritated with the immediate inconvenience the problems caused. "I've had to deal with a lot of trouble with my applications," said O'Brien. "I'm just mad that I wasted time on [UMCP] when I could have been doing my other application that was also due Dec. 1."
Although senior Joshua Gilmore submitted his application by the original deadline, he believes that many people needed several more days to submit their materials. "High-school students have a lot to do besides college applications. [Many] have AP and honors classes to study and do work for," he said.
O'Brien was grateful for the extended deadline for that very reason; she has various other commitments other than college applications. "I was glad that I had more time but angry that I had taken the time to fill out the paper application," she said.
Other Blair students were upset with UMCP's last-minute decision to postpone the deadline because "all these people who were procrastinating have extra time, and I was all stressed out and rushing," said Lawal.
Gilmore, however, is glad of the extension because it will benefit students who have yet to submit their application. "A lot of people procrastinated, so now they can take their time to revise and perfect their essays," he said.
Senior Lisa Howe, who is using the extension to her advantage, anticipated technical problems because she experienced issues with logging on to the site around Nov. 1 when Part I of the application was due. Howe also attributes the technical issues to too many people trying to submit their application right before the deadline passes. "Everyone procrastinates, and everyone does things last minute," she said.
Despite the site's technical problems, students are still encouraged to submit their application online. Prospects may also download the PDF version and send in their application by mail, according to the UMCP web site.
Feza Kikaya. Feza Kikaya is finally a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys driving, hanging out with friends and laughing. Most importantly, Feza is counting down the days to graduation so she can begin a new chapter of her life in college. Her favorite … More »