UC System Extends Application Deadline

Thousands of panicking, last-minute UC applicants received a nasty shock earlier this week when the UC of the President Web site experienced a “slowdown” that prevented students from submitting their college applications.

“I wouldn’t categorize it as a failure — it wasn’t,” UCOP spokesman Ricardo Vasquez said. “It was a slowdown — [it’s just] what happened.”

The problem began Sunday night, when an unknown computer malfunction appeared less than a day before the Dec. 1 application deadline.

“We haven’t found the source of the problem,” Vasquez said. “Each year, we do rigorous stress tests on the system prior to opening the application and filing period, and we have planned for a heavy load at the end of the filing period. But our preliminary analysis indicates that this is not a problem of capacity or volume.”

Because of the number of students affected by the slowdown, UCOP Director of Undergraduate Admissions Susan Wilbur made the decision to extend the deadline by two days, to 11:59 p.m. on the night of Dec. 2.

The extension came as a relief to Miramonte High School senior and UC applicant Tucker Kahn, who said he tried to submit his application on Monday night.

According to Kahn, the Web site stalled repeatedly at the eighth step of the application process, remaining on the “loading” page for over an hour through multiple attempts to submit.

“I was pretty pissed off,” Kahn said. “I didn’t understand how a Web site like Facebook can operate with millions and millions of people, but people try to submit stuff to one Web site for one night and it crashes. I just don’t get how that works.”

Kahn, who was applying exclusively to UC campuses, was finally able to submit his application at 2:30 a.m. — two and a half hours after the official deadline.

Kahn was not the only one to take advantage of the extension. According to Vasquez, approximately 2,900 applicants submitted their late applications over the course of an 11-hour period from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. These were in addition to the roughly 129,000 students who had already turned in their applications before the Web site malfunction — and not counting the thousands of students who continued to submit their applications until Wednesday night.

The UCOP took steps to get the word out about the extended deadline to worried students by posting information about the extension on its Web site and notifying high-school counselors.

“This is a very stressful period for students — we wouldn’t want to do anything to add to that stress,” Vasquez said. “We will look into it and get to the bottom of it.”

Readers can contact Hayley Bisceglia-Martin at [email protected].

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