Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the University has already planned an event in May for recently accepted students.
For many high school seniors, the end of April typically marks the culmination of weeks of deliberation as prospective students make their final decision on where to attend college in the fall. But for many University of Michigan applicants, their consideration period was cut short.
According to data compiled by The New York Times, more than 10,000 prospective students that applied to the University — one of every three applicants — didn’t receive notification of their admittance until the third week of April, bypassing the mid-April notification deadline stated on the Office of Undergraduate Admission’s website.
The delay may be connected to an increase in the number of applicants due to the University’s recent switch to the Common Application, which allows seniors to apply to any of the organization’s 414 listed institutions.
University Provost Philip Hanlon told the Daily in a January 23 article that the Office of Admissions saw a 20-percent rise in the number of applicants this year, leading to an increase in the number of deferrals. Despite this, he said that the University was prepared to handle the upswing of applicants.
Ted Spencer, vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions, wrote in an email interview that in anticipation of the increase in applicants, the University hired more staff to review the applications as compared to years past.
“Ultimately, we processed more applications more quickly this year as compared to previous years,” he added.
Spencer wrote that he feels the term “delay” isn’t an accurate way to describe the situation, adding that the University has some disparities from other Common Application schools regarding deadlines, which may have confused students and led to outcry.
“The perception of a ‘delay’ is inaccurate,” Spencer wrote in an email interview. “(The University’s) timeline, which has been the same for many years, is fairly unique among Common App schools, so, it has triggered some questions and push-back from students who are unaccustomed to (this) process.”
As high school seniors weighed their options in anticipation of the May 1 deadline, some students anticipate that the delay in notification may discourage enrollment from the University.
David Herman, a high school senior at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, received his offer of admission to the University on April 22, along with some of his friends who also applied. He said the wait led some of them to enroll to other schools.
“I never [thought], ‘Oh I’m not going to wait any longer, let me just submit my deposit to the other school,” Herman said. “But I know a lot of my friends actually didn’t end up waiting and just submitted deposits to other schools, solely because they just didn’t want to wait.”
Because of the rush that applicants who received later notices of admission experienced in choosing to attend the University and examining their financial aid packages, Spencer told The New York Times that the University is considering holding an event in May for recently accepted students and is willing to make accommodations for students if they need more time to decide.
However, with the switch to the Common Application and the surge in applicants, more pronounced changes to the University’s admissions process, including a reconsideration of the notification timetable, should be forthcoming, Spencer wrote in an email interview with the Daily.