Dec 14, 2012

Stanford’s ‘Restrictive Early’ Action Decisions Released Today

Stanford University Chapel

Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action applicants will receive their admission decisions this afternoon at 3 pm (Pacific Time)—right on schedule.

 “[I] urge all of you to take a moment to appreciate and congratulate yourselves on the impressive people that you are right now, regardless of if you get into [S]tanford,” commented a “cheesy older person” posting on the College Confidential discussion board. “[P]lease don't let a simple college decision define who you are, because, at the risk of sounding cheesy, at the end of the day you're still you! [G]ood luck, remember to stay balanced and remain compassionate toward yourselves.”

Beating out Stanford by a day, Harvard released “single choice” early action (SCEA) decisions yesterday afternoon.  Harvard accepted about 18 percent of early applicants to the Class of 2017—895 out of 4,856—a 16 percent increase over the number of early admittances last year.

When asked about the increase in early admits, Harvard’s Dean William Fitzsimmons said, “Our feeling is that we’re just admitting the same people under slightly different time table.”  Or more likely, Harvard is trying to protect its astonishing “yield” by getting more of a leg up on the competition, including Stanford.

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, 2013.

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.

Harvard, on the other hand, deferred 3,196 applicants, up to about 100 of whom may be accepted during the regular decision round according to Fitzsimmons.

Stanford and Harvard may be among the bigger ‘names’ releasing early admissions decisions this 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 for those not receiving good news, disappointment in the form of deferral or outright rejection always stings. The best antidote 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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