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College Admissions: The Most Popular Colleges in Early Admission

Monday, November 14, 2011

 

quinn duke early

Hot, hot, hot: Duke hits the numbers in early admissions

Early admission numbers are still being released since many colleges extended deadlines due to the fall storm that hit the Northeast. Nevertheless, it appears that the stagnant economy has not affected early action and early decision applications at the nation’s most competitive colleges. While students applying early decision don’t get to weigh different financial aid packages, many elite colleges guarantee to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need, and several ivy league colleges have instituted programs where families earning less than $75,000 per year pay no tuition. These policies and higher acceptance rates during early decision programs have many students racing to submit applications in November.

Big upticks: Duke, Brown, Northwestern

This year, Duke saw its largest increase in early decision applications ever, up 23% over 2010. Brown is still totaling early numbers, but estimates that applications surged 25% in their 8 year combined BS/MD Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME). Early applications to Northwestern University increased 15% for the class of 2016, following an amazing increase of 26% last year. John Hopkins saw an 8% rise in early applications, while Georgetown experienced just a 1% increase. UPENN appeared to be the only Ivy League school reporting that early applications were down this year, but only by 1%. Speculation is that the return of early admission plans at Harvard and Princeton may be to blame for PENN’s downturn.

The return of early admission: UVA, Princeton, Harvard

UVA, Princeton and Harvard all reinstituted early admission programs this year after backing away from them a few years ago. In a show of support, more than 11,000 students applied to UVA’s unrestricted Early Action program, and 3,547 students decided to apply under Princeton’s Single Choice Early Action option. Harvard has not yet released its numbers.

Biggest change: ED II

Perhaps the biggest change in early admission this year is the shocking number of colleges that have added an “ED II” option. Following the success of a later Early Decision option at schools like George Washington University, the trend has been growing recently. And this year, dozens of liberal arts colleges jumped on the bandwagon adding an Early Decision II round with a January deadline. This later deadline allows students who don’t have applications ready, or aren’t prepared to make a decision in November, to still reap the statistical benefits of applying ED after the holidays. It also allows some students to play out two rounds of early admission, applying to one school ED in November and then if they are deferred or rejected, applying to a second college under ED II in January.

Navigating early apps

Whatever a student decides regarding early admission, make sure you understand the rules surrounding the different early action and early decision plans. Early Decision is always a binding commitment, and you are obligated to the attend the college if accepted and withdraw all other pending applications. The tricky details really come into play with Single Choice and Restrictive Early Action plans. These options often restrict where else a student may apply early. Check individual college websites to ensure that you are complying with all the rules, and call the admissions office if you have questions. Keep in mind that failing to comply with the regulations for early admission programs may result in your acceptance being rescinded.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students. http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com

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