Here’s one less thing to panic about:  many colleges are postponing their November 1 deadline for early decision applicants. But students hoping to get a couple extra days to obsess over their essays should take warning; every school is handling this differently.

  • Some schools, Johns Hopkins included, are accepting late submissions only from students in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. So if you’re out there in Wyoming and just feel as though you deserve another day or two before you click “submit,” watch out — the admissions officers probably won’t take kindly to you.
  • Some schools, Like Loyola University Maryland, are extending their deadline for everyone. Rather than November 1, early action applications are due November 15. That’s quite a bit more time to get things ready.
  • On the other hand, Hopkins hasn’t announced a revised deadline for hurricane-affected students; we read this as meaning that applicants should submit as soon as possible. “We encourage applicants to submit their application as close to the original deadline as possible but will work with applicants to accommodate complications due to the severe weather,” the Office of Undergraduate Admissions announced on its Hopkins Insider blog.
  • Among the Ivies, Columbia, Yale, and Penn all extended their deadlines to November 5; Brown to November 7. Princeton is being a little more persnickety; the admissions office says it “will be flexible in its Nov. 1 deadline for single-choice early action if Hurricane Sandy or any personal issues are making it difficult or impossible for you to file the appropriate forms” and asks students who file late to “please submit a brief explanation with your application.”
  • That’s another tricky thing:  for schools like Princeton and Hopkins without firm deadlines, you may want to get in touch with the office to figure out what exactly they mean when they say they’ll “work with” you to “accommodate complications.” But many East Coast universities are closed today, and we imagine they’ll be flooded with calls tomorrow. Remember, be patient — and maybe use these extra days off school to make your application perfect.
  • As far as I can tell, some schools in affected areas — NYU included — are sticking with their previous deadlines. That, or they’re too busy dealing with broken glass and scared students to make announcements about admissions deadlines. Often the best way to get breaking-news type information from a school — like whether deadlines are changing — is to follow them on Twitter and/or Facebook, which are often updated more quickly than the main university websites.
  • Also worth considering:  is applying early really worth it?