Information for Early Decision and Spring Transfer Applicants Affected by Recent Natural Disasters and Other Special Circumstances

Dear Students,

In recent weeks and months, significant disruptions to everyday life have been caused by a series of  extreme natural phenomena: severe hurricanes in Texas, Florida and other southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; extensive wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest; the destructive earthquake in Mexico and widespread flooding throughout South Asia. Many students, teachers and counselors in affected locations are still dealing with difficult and stressful challenges of daily life -- lack of electricity and water, disruption of transportation, closed schools, damage to property, and even displacement from homes. In addition to these natural disasters, the devastating violence of the shooting in Las Vegas has affected many in the immediate Las Vegas area and farther afield. In the terrible aftermath of these events, we in the Amherst College Office of Admission send our sincere thoughts of care and concern to all of you affected. We hope that you, your families, and your friends are safe. 

For students hoping to apply for Early Decision or Spring Transfer admission, these occurrences bring the added challenge of trying to submit applications, school documents, and standardized test scores under unusual and trying circumstances. We hope that the information provided here will make that one part of life a little easier.

Application and Financial Aid Deadline Extensions - Early Decision and Spring Transfer Applicants  If you are an Early Decision or Spring Transfer applicant affected by these recent extraordinary events and you are experiencing disruptions that will make it difficult to submit your application or supporting school documents by our standard November 1 deadline, please email our Admission Office at to request an extension of the application deadline. Such students may also receive an extension of  deadline until November 15 for submission of all required financial aid materials. Email requests for extensions should be sent using the subject line "ED Application Extension Request" or "Transfer Application Extension Request" (as appropriate).

Application Fee Waivers - Early Decision and Spring Transfer Applicants  As further support, Amherst is offering waivers of the $65 application fee to Early Decision and Spring Transfer applicants affected by the special circumstances arising from the extraordinary events referred to above. To access this fee waiver, simply select the "Special Circumstances Fee Waiver" option under the "school-specific fee waiver" question within the Amherst supplementary section of the Common Application or the Coalition Application.

Submission of SAT or ACT Scores - Early Decision Applicants The recent hurricanes have resulted in the cancellation of several SAT and ACT test administrations in storm-struck areas of Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both College Board and ACT, Inc., have been working to reschedule the cancelled tests and will notify students directly when makeup dates have been confirmed. (In addition, College Board is offering free November or December SAT registration and CSS Profile fee waivers to students in some hurricane-affected areas. For more information on those arrangements, consult the relevant College Board announcement on hurricane-related disruptions to SATs.)

Amherst is extending application fee waivers to student affected the recent extraordinary events referred to above.

If you are planning to apply to Amherst College under the Early Decision deadline of November 1 and you have been affected by cancellation of the SAT or the ACT, we offer the following advice on submission of your standardized test scores:

  • If, as is now expected, the cancelled SAT and ACT will be rescheduled for a date not later than the end of October, your official score reports should reach us in time for consideration at the Early Decision stage (assuming no unexpected delay in routine timelines for score reporting).
  • If you will be taking the regular October 7 SAT or October 28 ACT, your official score report should reach us in time for consideration at the Early Decision stage (assuming no unexpected delay in routine timelines for score reporting).
  • If you are unable to take the earlier SAT or ACT tests and must take the November 4 SAT, we will be able to consider those results (even though after our ED deadline) if:
    • You send us a copy of your score report (as soon as it is released to your online account) by fax to (413) 542-2040 or by email to with the subject line “ED November SAT Test Scores”
    • We receive your official score report from College Board not later than Wednesday, December 6.

We hope that these special arrangements will help to alleviate some of your concerns about your application and will make this one part of life a little less stressful. Should you face continued extenuating circumstances that necessitate consideration beyond those outlined above, please contact us at We will consider such special requests on a case-by-case basis and will be as accommodating as possible, within the constraints of the overall Early Decision and Spring Transfer admission process.

Again, we send our best wishes to you and those close to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions or concerns about the application process.

With warm regards,
Amherst College Office of Admission