Understanding Early Action and Early Decision on Ivy League Regular Admission Day

March 28, 2018

Image Credit: University of Michigan


Over the course of a stressful high school senior year, March marks a special special fever pitch of anticipation and dread. Yes, many students have already received acceptances, waitlists, and declines in the prior weeks. However, most admissions offices are now in the full swing of polishing off, tweaking, and sending out their regular admissions decisions.


Formally or not, March 28th is the date that Ivy League schools release their regular decisions, which draws attention every year.


A Wall Street Journal article released earlier this afternoon highlights the disparity between early action/decision acceptances versus regular decision acceptances.


Melissa Korn writes that early-round candidates are accepted at a rate of "two or three times that of regular applicants".


As a reminder, that disparity is 14.5% early versus 3.3% regular for Harvard. For Yale, it was 17.1% early versus 5% regular.


Is this a growing trend? On the college admissions enrollment side, shaping and filling a class is increasingly becoming a precise, nuanced, and mathematical game played by enrollment management offices.


According to the Tufts Daily, early application as a portion of the incoming class, as well as total number of students admitted early have both been on a precipitous rise, a trend mirrored by other colleges. 


This trend, captured above by Maria Fong at the Tufts Daily, shows a precipitous rise in applicants and admits, especially over the last few years.


While many counselors and admissions officials certainly feel that this is a growing national trend, high school seniors right now can only wait for a "Yes", "No", or "Maybe".


Do you encourage your students to apply EA/ED? How do you help them make that call? We'd love to hear tips from you to help our rising seniors now.



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