I can only think of one thing that could be slightly improved (from the prospective of dA members who are students at least). I really wanted to enter the epic poetry contest, but because of the time that it started, I knew I wouldn't have enough time for such a big project due to it being exam time *groan*.
Obviously, this doesn't affect everyone,
but maybe the larger contests like this could be set during summer holidays or even in September-December time, or something like that? Just to give some of the busy students who are committed to dA a better chance to enter such contests? Unless of course, those timings for bigger projects would interfere with people in other areas?