With more high school seniors vying for the same number of slots at top colleges, the competition for early acceptance is stiffer than ever, reports admissions guru Steve Cohen from the Daily Beast. Plus, stats from 21 schools across the country
The first results from this year’s college admissions race are in. Schools sent out their early-admission decisions last week, and the acceptance picture was depressingly similar to what it was last year—only tougher. Admission to “top” schools is insanely difficult, and the early-decision “edge” is eroding.
Early-decision applications were up at most colleges, but the number of slots in each freshman class reserved for early-decision kids held steady—which means that acceptance rates were, for the most part, slightly lower than a year ago.
Overall, about one-third of the nearly 100,000 high school seniors who participated in this early frenzy heard good news. Yet results varied widely, from a low of 20 percent at Brown to a high of 66 percent at Bucknell. And at early-action schools—Harvard, Yale and Stanford—the acceptance rates were all less than 20 percent.
“This is one of the toughest years we’ve seen in a long time,” said Mike Muska, the dean of college relations at Brooklyn’s Poly Prep, and a former senior admissions officer at several top colleges including Brown and Oberlin. “I’ve heard from colleagues all across New York about kids with 750 SAT scores across the board who were getting deferred or denied if they were unhooked.” (“Unhooked” is admission-speak for kids without a special skill or niche.)
Early-decision and early-action programs are used by many of the most popular and toughest-to-get-into colleges in the country. In exchange for an early application—and a professed expression of singular interest—colleges let kids know early in their senior year of high school whether they’ve been accepted. This spares the lucky ones a months-long ordeal of waiting.
The catch with early decision is that it’s a binding process: kids get to apply to one, and only one, college early. If accepted, they must attend. The early action option at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale also limits kids to apply to just one school, but those programs are nonbinding. Meanwhile, early action programs at schools such as Boston College, University of Chicago, Georgetown, MIT, and Notre Dame allow students to apply to multiple early-action schools. Programs vary from school to school.
Click here to see the early admissions stats from 21 top colleges across the country. See original article below to read the rest of this timely article.