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Top Colleges See Rise in Early Decision / Early Action Applicants 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it the economy? Is it an increase in the number of students going to college this year? The answer is probably both. A number of top colleges are reporting a significant increase in early applicants this year.

Students and Parents May Want Certainty in this Economy

Many colleges anticipated a drop in early admissions (which often times is binding), assuming students and their families would be more budget-conscious and therefore want to do some "comparison-shopping" among schools' financial aid packages. Apparently, the economy may have had the opposite effect. Students and their parents may be looking for certainty in what has been a crazy few months with the economy.

Competition for Admission to Top Colleges May be Peaking

Additionally, competition for entrance into top colleges is likely at its peak right now. The number of students graduating from high school is up from 5 and 10 years ago, and early admissions is often perceived as a way of improving one's chances of getting in.

Early Admission Increases at Some Top Colleges

Here is a sampling of top colleges and their increase in early admissions applicants:

A handful of top colleges, including Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Virginia, have eliminated early decision altogether in the past few years.

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