Nov 13, 2010

Early Application Competition Intensifies for Class of 2015

As the dust settles from the first round of early application deadlines, it appears that students are continuing to respond to the measurable “early” advantage in college admissions. In last year’s admissions race, 65 percent of the colleges with binding early decision (ED) policies reported increases in the number of ED applicant accepted, and nearly three-quarters of colleges with early action (EA) programs reported increases in both EA applications and EA admits.

The University of Pennsylvania was the first to report results from its November 1st binding early decision deadline. For the class of 2015, Penn received nearly 18 percent more ED applications, bringing the total to 4,557—up from 3,851 a year ago.

Early returns from other binding programs are equally impressive. According to the New York Times, Duke and Johns Hopkins are up by nearly 14 percent, having received 2,282 and 1,314 applications each. Further south, Rice saw an increase of about 15 percent, with 1000 early applications.

Among schools with nonbinding early action programs, Northwestern is up by a stunning 25 percent, and the University of Chicago continues on a roll with an 18.5 percent increase in early applications. MIT is up by about 15 percent, and Boston College reports a 7 percent increase over last year. Locally, Georgetown received nearly 9 percent more applications for its “restrictive” early action program through which students are free to apply to other early action programs but prohibited from applying Early Decision elsewhere.

On the west coast, Stanford’s Office of Admission reports receiving approximately 5,950 applications under its “single choice” early action program. This represents a 7 percent increase from last year.

“Universities and colleges are continuing to see an increase in application[s]…but we’re not seeing an increase in enrollment,” said Bob Patterson, Stanford’s new director of admission in an interview with the Stanford Daily. “With an increased applicant pool and the same class size, it’s going to be a little more competitive.”

But not every school is seeing an increase in early applications. At Brown University, 2,765 early decision applications were received—about 80 less than last year. “When considering a pool of roughly 30,000, 70 to 80 less is not a big deal one way or another,” said Jim Miller, Brown’s dean of admission, in comments to the Brown Daily Herald.

This weekend, high school students will continue to scramble to get essays and miscellaneous paperwork completed for the next major early application deadline—November 15.

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