[photopress:earthquake.jpg,full,alignright]Internet disruptions caused by the December 26 earthquake off the southern coast of Taiwan came at a bad time for many potential business-school applicants wanting to study in the United States, as the Round One application deadline for many top U.S. schools was quickly approaching. Several schools said this week that most applicants were apparently getting their applications in, and those that had lingering problems would be accommodated.
At MIT-Sloan, where the Round One deadline is January 10, the admissions office will accept applications from those residing in areas that experienced Internet service disruptions due to the earthquake till January 26.
At Harvard Business School and Penn’s Wharton School admissions officers say they have been monitoring the situation in Asia but so far have not seen the need to grant any extensions. Other B-schools with upcoming January deadlines, including Stanford, Northwestern, Chicago, and Carnegie Mellon are evaluating extension requests on a case-by-case basis.
The earthquake — measured at magnitude 6.7 by Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau and 7.1 by the U.S. Geological Survey — snapped undersea cables off Taiwan, cutting telecommunications across the region and leaving companies scrambling to reroute traffic through satellites and cables that were not damaged.
By the beginning of the New Year, most commercial Internet access had been restored in the affected areas, but residential users were still experiencing some delays as repairs to the cables continued.