Despite some complaints about inconvenient deadlines, more than 100 seniors braved heavy rainfall to get their applications for Harvard's endorsements for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships in on time this year.
A major difficulty for students applying for endorsements is the late start of Harvard's fall semester, which leaves students going through the last days of the application process during shopping period.
Despite the problems, the Office of Career Services (OCS) received 107 applications for the U.S. Rhodes endorsement, eight for the Canadian Rhodes endorsement and 63 for the Marshall endorsement.
The numbers, however, were slightly lower than last year's figures of 119 U.S. Rhodes and 71 Marshall endorsement applications, which set a record for Harvard. Six students from Harvard received Rhodes scholarships last year.
The deadline for this year's endorsement applications was 10 a.m. last Friday, and the hours preceding it were a trying time for some seniors attempting to get their applications--consisting of an activities list, an official transcript, the required essays, an application form and a student fellowships information card--in on time.
Each applicant had to submit one set of original forms and 16 sets of copies to OCS no later than 10 a.m., or the office would brand the application with red letters spelling "LATE".
To make matters worse, rain was falling heavily on the morning the applications were due.
Joshua A. Feltman '95 said he stayed up to 4:30 a.m. completing his application and then woke up five hours later to deliver it to OCS.
"I worked pretty much up to the last minute," Feltman said. "I think I, and a lot of other people, underestimated the time it took to collate [the 17 sets]."
Benjamin A. Auspitz '95 said he also had problems with the deadline.
"I stayed up all night the night before," he said. "I thought it wasn't very considerate [of OCS] to have only an hour a day to hand it in."
"I understand that they're on a very tight schedule, but it did seem to me that they know a lot of us are going to be staying up all night," Feltman said. "I definitely think they could [have set the deadline] two hours later."
Four years age, the deadline was at 3 p.m. according to Paul A. Bohlmann, assistant director of OCS. But the deadline was moved up because of the time needed to distribute all the endorsement applications to the committees, he said.
"We're sympathetic about the crunch that students feel," Bohlmann said.
Despite the complaints, only two or three students handed in their applications late this year, Bohlmann said.