Tufts’ Office of Undergraduate Admissions will extend its Early Decision I (ED I) deadline from Nov. 1 to Nov. 17 in efforts to recognize the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters along the Gulf Coast and the West.
JT Duck, dean of admissions and enrollment management at Tufts, cited disruptions in secondary education caused by COVID-19 as a principal reason for the extension.
“Through closely following school district re-opening plans this fall, and in conversations with college advisors and prospective students, we learned of many schools that delayed the first day of fall classes by one or more weeks in order to accommodate COVID planning,” Duck wrote in an email to the Daily. “We heard countless stories from college advisors who had less access to their students than in a typical year to discuss the college admissions and financial aid processes.”
Duck also explained that students have faced difficulties registering and sitting for the SAT and ACT exams and that a deadline extension would accommodate this dilemma.
He acknowledged that the extension could grant flexibility to applicants affected by environmental emergencies along the Gulf Coast and in the West.
Duck indicated that the current deadline of Nov. 17 is the most optimal for students applying ED I to Tufts.
“Our new deadline is the latest feasible deadline we could provide that would still allow us to offer and conduct alumni interviews with interested applicants, acquire all supporting application credentials from schools, thoroughly read and discuss applications in our committee-based evaluation process, and render admission decisions by mid-December,” Duck said.
Katie Shelburne, a first-year, applied ED I to Tufts last year and believes the deadline extension will be beneficial for applicants.
“I know when I was making my decision, I thought about it right up until the deadline and having an extra two weeks would have been super helpful,” Shelburne wrote in an electronic message to the Daily.
Sophomore Emma van Duijnhoven, who also applied ED I, echoed these sentiments.
“Applicants have lost so many opportunities to get the feel of campus which was so important in my decision so I think it’s important to give them time to reach out to current students and learn more about the Tufts experience,” she said.
Duck remains optimistic about Tufts’ ability to attract strong applicants in light of the pandemic.