Dec 12, 2014

Stanford releases Restrictive Early Action decisions and rivalry with Harvard continues

Stanford University

Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) applicants received their admission decisions today at precisely 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)—right on schedule.

And offers were made to 743 very lucky high school students out of 7,297 early admission candidates—five percent more applications than last year and the largest early pool in Stanford’s history.

"We have admitted a remarkable group of students from an extremely talented applicant pool," said Richard H. Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid. "Our review was rigorous, and we are pleased to celebrate those who were accepted."

Beating out Stanford by a day, Harvard released “single choice” early action (SCEA) decisions yesterday afternoon. Harvard accepted 16.5 percent of the early applicants to the Class of 2019—977 out of 5,919.  And thanks to Harvard College Connection (HCC)—a supercharged recruitment program—early applications increased by a whopping 26 percent for the Class of 2019.

“We are pleased to see such promising results in just the first year of HCC,” said Harvard Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath. “We will continue to study the effect of these new recruiting efforts over the next few years.”

While not binding, both early action programs prohibit 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, 2015.

But if you’re a Stanford applicant, don’t look for too many deferrals to the regular pool. Stanford’s philosophy is to “make final decisions whenever possible.” As a result, only a small percentage of early action applicants will be deferred.

And according to a statement  announcing early results, Stanford plans to “reserve the majority of spaces in is freshman class” for students who apply under its regular admission program.

Harvard, on the other hand, admitted 977 applicants and deferred 4,292 for a freshman class that is most likely to be slightly small than Stanford’s.  Note that for the fall of 2013, 81 percent of those admitted to Harvard accepted their offers, while only 76 percent of Stanford’s admits enrolled.

Stanford and Harvard may be among the bigger ‘names’ releasing early admissions decisions this past week, but many local 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.

And the rush to nail down commitments to enroll has officially begun.

In a press release discussing admission results, Harvard announced that “Over the months ahead, faculty, staff, undergraduate recruiters, and alumni will use personal notes, phone calls, emails, regular mailings, and social media to reach out to admitted students with information about Harvard.”

And if Stanford expects to remain the most selective university in the nation, the admission office on Galvez Street will do the same.

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