The University of California, along with many other universities across the nation, has decided to extend its application deadline from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, in an effort to accommodate students caught in the aftermath of “Superstorm Sandy.”

Hurricane Sandy, a disastrous category four hurricane turned “superstorm,” ravaged the East Coast in late October. According to LiveScience, the hurricane has left millions without electricity and shelter, while taking the lives of over a hundred people. In the wake of devastation, many colleges applicants are often left disadvantaged in the admissions process, which has encouraged UC officials to provide further assistance.

In an interview with the Highlander, UCR Admissions Director Emily Engelschall said the decision to extend the deadline was part of a systemwide effort. Although UCR does not receive many applicants from the east coast, notable effects of the storm were felt indirectly by Californian students. “[Some] of the California SAT centers were closed because the tests were being shipped and couldn’t physically make it out of the east coast…so students across the country may have been inadvertently affected by Hurricane Sandy because the test centers closed,” stated Engelschall.

According to U.S. News and World Report, more than 70 U.S. colleges and universities have extended their application deadlines to assist those who have been adversely affected by the storm.

“The admissions directors at all the UC campuses talked…it was really a response from what we were hearing nationally that other universities were doing, so we thought that we needed to take a look at the situation and make sure that we were accommodating students as much as the other’s were just to be fair to them,” Engelschall said.

This is not the first time that the UC system has made exemptions due to instances of natural disasters. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina swept through the state of Louisiana, the UC ensured that those impacted by the storm would be granted an extension in the application process. “There have been steps put in place for other similar circumstances. [In] Katrina, some students were displaced from their universities…but we made accommodations for students who requested to come to UCR,” Engelschall said.

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the UC Application Center and the Help Desk will allow a two-week application extension, during  which prospective applicants must provide proof of how they were delayed by the storm. SAT test and Subject test scores will also be accepted until Jan. 2013.