Dec 11, 2010

Stanford Early Admission Decisions Released Earlier than Expected

Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action applicants were unexpectedly sent their admission decisions yesterday afternoon at 3 pm (Pacific Time), several days ahead of schedule.

According to director of admission Bob Patterson, “The admission committee finalized its selection process earlier than anticipated and in an effort to quell anxiety among applicants, parents, counselors, and alumni, Dean Shaw made the executive decision to release decisions today, December 10.”

Stanford made a similar announcement last spring when regular admissions decisions were released six days ahead of schedule.

And the news wasn’t good in most cases. “It hurts so much,” commented one applicant posting on the College Confidential discussion board. “Christmas break is not going to be fun.”

Another rejected student took a more philosophical approach, “…now I can cheer without regret for the VIRGINA TECH HOKIES (my parents’ alma mater) in the Orange Bowl.”

Stanford received 5950 restrictive early action applications for the class of 2015. This represents a 7 percent increase over the 5566 applications received last year. According to reports from the admission office, Stanford planned to accept 760 or about 13 percent of the early applicants.

Last year, Stanford’s overall acceptance rate dropped to 7.2 percent, the lowest in the country after Harvard.

While not binding, Stanford’s early action program prohibits applicants from applying early to other colleges and universities. Those accepted now are free to pursue other applications and compare results later in the application cycle. All final decisions are due by May 1, 2011.

The earlier-than-planned results should give students more time to digest the news and move on if necessary. Stanford may be among the first of the ‘big names’ to send this year’s early admissions decisions, but many other students have been quietly receiving responses from colleges with different forms of early application and/or rolling admissions. More are scheduled to arrive over the coming days and weeks.

Disappointment in the form of deferral or outright rejection always stings. The best antitode is simply to keep the process moving and resist the temptation to freeze in place. As a truck driver says to the character played by Sandra Bullock, in All About Steve, “If you miss a bus, I’m thinking maybe you weren’t meant to take it.”

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