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  • Bentham Team

The Glitch Myth

One persistent myth about the college admissions process is the infamous “glitch” that might affect the computerized filing of your application if you wait until the last minute or the last day. There is no evidence that an applicant in the United States ever was denied admission because of a late application caused by a computer glitch.

Some Real-World Context

The University of California, the largest system and thus the one most prone to the glitch-gate rumor mill, has only experienced two glitches in the UC admissions process, in 2005 and 2020. In both cases, the deadline was simply extended. In 2020, it was extended to Dec. 5, giving students five whole days to scratch that PIQ that never really worked and perfect a new one.

Most colleges actually have an unspoken grace period during which applications will still be received, but it is not advisable to rely on that.

Why the Myth Exists

Why does this glitch myth persist, particularly with parents? Parents get very nervous over things that are important in a young person’s life that they can’t control. If an applicant isn’t working on an application essay all the time starting August 1, the parent gets upset. Holding the last-minute glitch over a student’s head is similar to warning children that if they roll back their eyelids they will get stuck that way. It’s a desperate attempt to control a young person’s behavior.

Also, because parents want their kids to develop good work habits and not wait until the last minute (which will catch up with you; just ask my editor), it irks them to see an applicant wait until the last minute to send.

The problem is, the essays need to be as good as they can possibly be, and that always takes longer than the applicants expect, as they write draft after draft after draft. Also, the activities list requires great care, as additional honors inevitably occur to most students after they think the list is complete. Rushing the application is far worse than submitting it on the last day. Parents who create firm deadlines to get the application in early pressure their children who find it more difficult to write effective essays.

Is it helpful to get your application in early?

Is applying early an advantage? True, the application reviewers may spend more time on your application, but it’s also true that a standout among the essays they read last might leave a more memorable and persuasive impression. The only time when applying early is an advantage is when a school has rolling admissions. A school with rolling admissions starts admitting students at the beginning of the admissions period, and when the class is full, the admissions process is over.

A lot of myths about the admissions process float around out there, and as an admissions consultant, I hear them all the time. Talking to someone at Bentham Admissions will help you separate fact from fiction.

Contact Bentham Admissions today and let us help you navigate the college admissions process with confidence.


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