A petition currently circling is calling for an extension of the UC application deadline from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 and has garnered nearly 600 signatures as of press time.
Created Nov. 17, the petition urges that UC applicants be granted an additional two weeks to submit their applications. Khwal Rafique, petition creator and UC Berkeley sophomore, noted a “recurring theme” among some applicants of feeling as though they did not have enough time to complete their submissions due to this year’s events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, online schooling and political unrest.
“For us to say to someone, ‘You should be prioritizing writing your UC apps,’ when they’re out in the streets fighting for their rights — that’s just not okay,” Rafique said.
Rafique is leading the effort among UC schools to pass a resolution supporting an extension of the deadline, adding in an email that she is confident the ASUC will pass.
After speaking with some applicants, Rafique said support for the petition is present among high school seniors, transfer students and college students. Campus freshman Erin Redding cited her own application process as cause for her signing this petition.
“My school year pre college app season went completely as planned and the process was still extremely time consuming and difficult,” Redding said in an email. “I went to multiple essay writing seminars that were incredibly helpful, and seniors have not been able to have those resources.”
According to a statement Monday from the UC Office of the President, however, the UC system does not intend on extending the upcoming application deadline.
Only in the event that an applicant presents an extenuating circumstance “directly related to COVID-19 or natural disasters” might they be permitted an extension, according to the statement.
“The University is committed to a fair and equitable application process,” the statement reads. “UC’s application deadline has remained Nov. 30 for many years to ensure predictability as students plan and prepare their UC applications.”
A point of opposition in pushing back the deadline is the concern that this extension will invite an influx of late submissions that could prevent UC schools from releasing admission decisions on time, Rafique said.
Rafique added, however, that those two weeks can enable students to turn in material that reflects their years of hard work. This year’s applicant pool is proving to be more diverse than in the past, Rafique said, but this diversity “doesn’t mean anything if we’re not being inclusive.”
According to Rafique, granting this extension should not be viewed as a favor to students but a necessary accommodation. This sentiment was echoed by UC Berkeley sophomore Mehnaz Grewal in an email.
“I was fortunate enough to have the ability to run to my high school counselor and teacher’s offices and get in-person support,” Grewal said in the email. “Students who do not have access to these in-person resources this application round may be facing difficulties and feel unsupported.”