New Ducks get some breathing room with Decision Day extension

To help ease concerns among high school seniors and their families facing a range of uncertainties this spring, the University of Oregon is extending its Decision Day deadline until Sept. 1.

Decision Day, usually May 1, is the deadline for high school students who have been accepted to the UO to commit to attending the university. But recognizing that admitted students and their families are facing an unprecedented set of circumstances this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, university leaders are responding to requests by families and members of the Class of 2024 by allowing them more time to make this important decision.

“We do not want people to feel rushed right now or add extra stress to their lives,” said Roger Thompson, vice president for student services and enrollment management. “We want all students and their families to feel confident in their decision. With so many other issues families are facing right now, we felt that giving them additional time was something the university could do to help.”

The extension applies to all high school seniors who have been admitted to the university, including those who have already committed to enrolling fall term. Students can commit at any time up to Sept. 1, but those who do so earlier will remain on track for choosing housing options and registration for fall classes as well as orientation programs.

Spring is typically a busy time on campus with family visits and Duck Days admissions events. However, all in-person enrollment activities were canceled since the stay-at-home order and other guidelines were put in place earlier this year.

Over the past few weeks, the university has quickly developed several portals for high school seniors to learn more about campus and the university instead of coming to Eugene. They include a virtual campus tour via the UO360 app and virtual reality goggles, Virtual Visits and a host of other resources.

Those resources include virtual meetings with an admissions counselor, housing representative or student ambassador, as well as a virtual tour event with a student panel and several surprise guests. The live events were recorded and students and families can watch at any time.

The university recently announced it is planning for in-person, on-campus instruction for fall term, while continuing to take appropriate precautions to safeguard campus and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“This spring has unfolded dramatically different from what any of us could have imagined, and we respect that many families may be working through a lot of other issues right now,” Thompson said. “While we hope admitted seniors choose to enroll at the University of Oregon in the fall, we also want to ease their burden by extending the deadline as they navigate these complicated times.”