Dec 12, 2015

Stanford beats Harvard in early action numbers and selectivity for class of 2020

Stanford University

Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) applicants received admissions decisions yesterday at precisely 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)—right on schedule.

And offers were made to 745 very lucky high school students or 9.5 percent of 7,822 early admission candidates—seven percent more applications than last year and the largest early pool in Stanford’s history.
“Today we invited 745 remarkable young people to join the Stanford family,” wrote Colleen Lim, Stanford associate dean and director of undergraduate admission, in an email to The Stanford Daily. “It is such an honor and joy for our staff to play a role in transforming the lives of these admitted students, and we can’t wait to see the impact they will make on the Stanford community.”

Beating Stanford by a day, Harvard released “single choice” early action decisions  on Thursday afternoon. Harvard accepted 14.8 percent of the early applicants to the Class of 2020—918 out of 6,173—a 4.3 percent increase over last year’s early action pool but still significantly smaller than Stanford’s.

While not binding, both early action programs prohibit (with some exceptions) 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, 2016.

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.” Last year, only about eight percent of the early applicants were deferred and there’s no reason to believe this year’s numbers would be much higher.

And according to Stanford’s statement  announcing early results, the “majority of spaces in the freshman class will be filled during the regular admission program in the spring.” More than 35,000 students are expected to apply for the class of 2020.

Harvard, on the other hand, deferred 4,673 for a freshman class that is likely to be quite a bit smaller than Stanford’s.  Note that for the fall of 2014, nearly 81 percent of those admitted to Harvard accepted their offers. At the same time, 81.1 percent of Stanford’s admitted undergrads enrolled in the class of 2019—up from 78.2 percent the previous year.

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.

According to the Harvard Gazette,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. Many Harvard clubs will host information sessions during the winter holidays and in April.”
And if Stanford expects to continue remain the most selective university in the nation with the highest yield outside of the service academies, the admission office on Galvez Street will do the same.

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