As the (virtual) ink dries on this year’s early admissions process at dozens of selective private colleges and public universities, some trends are beginning to come into focus.
For one thing, as in years past, nearly half the seats in the next freshman class are spoken for at some marquee colleges with binding early-decision programs, according to a spot survey conducted in recent days by The Choice. For example, at the University of Pennsylvania, 47 percent of the next freshman class is set; at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Middlebury, that figure is 45 percent; at Dartmouth, 42 percent.
The fact is that the re-entry of Harvard and Princeton into the early admission sweepstakes (when the colleges are often as keen to lock up their top choices, or at least woo them, as the students themselves) appears to have helped slow the breakneck increase in early applications seen in years past at places like Dartmouth, Barnard and Pennsylvania, which were relatively flat this year, and Columbia, which registered a 5 percent drop compared with last year.
Here is how Jennifer Fondiller, the dean of enrollment management at Barnard, characterized this year’s process, as seen from her desk, in an e-mail:
We saw more extremes of student behavior — either students were hyper-organized, calling and e-mailing more to make sure materials had arrived, when they would hear, etc., or they were quite forgetful, even forgetting to list key involvements on their ‘résumé’ that emerged elsewhere in their applications.
I also noticed a heightened awareness and concern about cost, financial aid, how to interpret results from the financial aid calculator that all colleges and universities are now required to make available.
Click here for early admissions data from about 50 colleges and universities.the original article from New York Times, written by Jacques Steinberg and Rebecca R. Ruiz