The first-year application deadline has always been on the first business day after the New Year holiday. The reasoning was that the deadline had to be on a day when students could get to the post office to mail their applications. As a result, the deadline date has shifted every year.
Now that we are paperless and want all students to submit their applications online, we don't see a need to have an inconsistent deadline. From now on, the first year deadline will be January 1st. Transfer deadlines will not change. They have always been November 1st and March 1st.