Early admissions were the subject of much criticism four years ago, leading several prominent colleges to abandon the practice in fall of 2006. Harvard, Princeton and the University of Virginia all announced the end of their early admissions. Critics of early decisions say it favors wealthy students and leads to less economic diversity.
This week, the University of Virginia announced that they will be bringing back the early admissions option. Although they found that eliminating early decision applications saw betting overall quality of the students admitted and better socioeconomic diversity, the college says it’s returning the early admission in response to feedback from students and college councilors. Early Admissions are up at many prestigious universities still offering the option, 17 percent at the University of Pennsylvania and 25 percent at Northwestern University.
“We have been hearing from guidance counselors and parents about their desire to have an early program again,” Greg W. Roberts, dean of admissions at U.Va., told Inside Higher Ed. “From an institutional self-interest perspective, we may see some students we are not seeing now.” A major difference in the reintroduced program is that it will now be non-binding.
Roberts said that many students want their college selection to be resolved as soon as possible. The early action option “in some ways reduces the level of anxiety and stress.”
Benefits of Early Action in College Applications