Web site leaves applicants waiting

Reported technical issues left a number of the 18,840 regular decision undergraduate applicants unable to access their admissions decision as they expected last Thursday afternoon.

Like many applicants for the class of 2014, Amit Paul checked his e-mail Thursday afternoon to find an invitation to view his application status online at 6 p.m., but Paul said the link given in the e-mail was broken and that when he found the admissions Web site on his own, he was unable to access his decision for hours.

“As 6 o’clock rolled around I clicked the link that was given to us in the e-mail sent a few days earlier, only to discover that it was a broken link,” Paul said in an e-mail. “I then had to locate the GW Activities Center on the undergraduate admission page and found out that the page was too busy to load.”

Director of Media Relations Michelle Sherrard said the system was overwhelmed Thursday afternoon but could not confirm whether students received a broken link and did not know how long delays lasted for potential students.

“It was much like what happens when Ticketmaster first opens the lines for a very popular event,” Sherrard said in an e-mail Friday. “ISS is working with the Admissions Office to review the situation so that this can be prevented from happening again.”

Sherrard said all students were able to access their admissions decision Thursday, but that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions did receive “a handful of inquiries” reporting the issue.

More than 25 potential students posted about the server issue to a message board on College Confidential, a Web site that hosts online forums to discuss admissions, among other collegiate topics.

Applicant Ryan Hebert, who posted to the Web site, said in an e-mail that he was frustrated because the problem could have been avoided.

“I felt like this could have been prevented pretty easily if the college just gave out the decisions in waves throughout the day,” Hebert said in an e-mail. “It would have prevented mass congestion at one time.”

For Paul, the extra three hours were heart wrenching – he said he had been rejected from two other universities on the same day.

“Being rejected twice from other schools sent me into a panic and I really wanted to be accepted to GW,” Paul said, who ultimately was able to see that he was accepted around 9 p.m. – nearly three hours after the decisions went live.

Applicant Rahel Zeleke posted to the Web site under the alias “Rizzledizzle”, said he received an error similar to other students.

“I received a ‘500’ error and a bunch of computer gibberish appeared on the screen,” Zeleke said in an e-mail. “I have to admit it was frustrating having to wait to find out; however, College Confidential definitely helped relieve some of my stress, since I knew so many of my peers were going through the same thing.”

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