Written by Julie Zelenski
Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you think, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account."
Late policy: just the facts
- Each assignment writeup will indicate the deadline for on-time submission. The date and time of the deadline are firm. Submitting even a minute past is considered late.
- Submitting by the deadline earns the on-time bonus, typically a ~5% perk. The assignment writeup will specify the bonus if available.
- If you miss the deadline, there may be a grace period for late submissions. The assignment writeup will specify if there is a grace period and how long. You can make a late submission after the deadline and up to the end of the grace period. These late submissions are not penalized, but do not earn the on-time bonus. The grace period is typically 48 hours past the deadline, but may be abbreviated, or even none, on a per-assignment basis.
- Submissions are not accepted beyond the grace period. The grace period is strictly enforced.
The philosophy driving our late policy has three goals:
- Encourage good time-management. Time management is a valuable skill and we want to provide incentives for you to balance your commitments and adapt/triage as necessary to meet deadlines. We follow industry tradition to reward engineers for meeting the product ship deadline. Our policy rewards timeliness, but also allows you a little penalty-free extra time when you need it.
- Empower you to make your own decisions. You are The Decider for when your situation warrants slipping into the grace period. Knowing the value of the on-time bonus and state of your progress, you choose when it make sense to push to hit the deadline and when to use the extra time to make a stronger submission. Choosing to slip will cut into the time you have for completing the subsequent assignment, so consider the impact on your overall schedule when making your decisions.
- Keep things fair. Deadlines are the same for all students, there are no exceptions. All students have the opportunity to earn the on-time bonus, but when not feasible, they can use the grace period without penalty.
Frequently asked questions about the late policy
Do I need to make special arrangements for a late submission?
No, just submit normally. The timestamp on your submission determines the assignment's lateness.
I'm having a scheduling crisis. What are my options for accommodation?
- The deadline is the same for all students without exceptions. We do not move the deadline and/or award bonus points for work that is not submitted on-time.
- If you cannot finish by the deadline, your first recourse is to use the grace period already granted to you.
- Plan to make a submission before the end of the grace period in all circumstances. As necessary, consider tradeoffs to ensure you can earn partial credit for what you have completed; i.e submission must build, ideally passes most/all sanity tests, and unattempted features or unresolved bugs don't interfere with basic functioning. Ask us if you need advice on how best to triage to make a submission before the grace period expires.
- Extra time in addition to the already-provided grace will only be granted for truly exceptional circumstances. In such situations, contact the instructor (not the TAs) in person. Initiate this request in advance of the deadline, not after. You must make at least an initial submission within the grace period in any case. If we grant the request, that submission can be replaced.
If using the grace period is penalty-free, why wouldn't I just treat the end of the grace period as the "real" deadline?
Well, some assignments have an abbreviated or no grace period, so best not to depend on it being available. Although you could make a late submissions for every assignment with a grace period, we don't recommend it. We're setting the deadlines for reasonable completion and reward you for keeping pace with the schedule. If you are aiming for the deadline and something unexpected comes up, you still have the grace period. If you're running up against the expiry of the grace period and get waylaid, you are left with no recourse but to make an incomplete submission. Don't let this happen to you!