Crush of last-minute applications crashes UC, Cal State computers; deadlines are extended

The University of California and California State University extended their admissions deadlines Tuesday after both systems faced connectivity issues as a crush of students raced against an 11:59 p.m. deadline to submit their applications.

UC has extended its deadline to 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1, but students must have started an application by Tuesday to be accepted into the system. Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach and San Luis Obispo also extended their application deadlines to 11:59 on Dec. 1, and Cal State Fresno, Los Angeles, Pomona, San Diego and San Jose extended their deadlines to Dec. 15. Other campuses had previously set later submission deadlines.

Both college systems described the problems on Twitter as connectivity issues, but it was not immediately clear what caused the breakdown — whether the Cal State Apply system and the UC equivalent were overloaded by traffic or if a different technical issue had affected each.

The computer system woes caused panic among students and parents, who voiced concerns on Twitter in an attempt to get clarity.

Both systems’ portals to fill out applications opened on Aug. 1.

UC admissions officers have been urging students for weeks not to wait until the last minute to submit their applications, noting that laptops can die or Internet access can cut out.

One college admissions counselor who helps students in San Bernardino County said the Cal State system doesn’t always work perfectly. But this recent issue was especially stressful for students.

“One of my students today had a problem because she wasn’t getting credit for her Spanish class in the right category. So we were working on trying to figure that out, and it was virtually impossible. The system kept logging her out, and when it came back up, it was missing pertinent information,” Julie Scorziell said. “This is real stress for families. … It’s not right, it’s a disservice to students in California who have worked hard and students who don’t have access to college counselors.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Times staff writer Teresa Watanabe contributed to this report.

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