The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Yale early admission policy remains standing this year

Yale is bucking the current Ivy League trend of dropping early admission options.,”

The autumn tradition of high school seniors rushing to meet an early admissions deadline may have disappeared at some schools, but the race is still on for Yale University applicants.

Yale is bucking the current Ivy League trend of dropping early admission options. Yale's stance arrives after opposite decisions announced by Harvard and Princeton – two of Yale's biggest competitors – last semester.

Yale President Rick Levin said the university is standing by its non-binding early admissions program in a university magazine released earlier this month.

"Every year everything is open to change. Actions like (those of Harvard and Princeton) cause the administrations of peer institutions to rethink the issue," said Gila Reinstein, a Yale spokeswoman. "We don't think that dropping early admission is the best way to help financially disadvantaged students."

Reinstein said Yale plans to focus more on financial aid. She said its admissions process is completely need-blind (meaning finances are not taken into account) and the issue of how much aid a student will need is only addressed after they are admitted.

Harvard University, known for its competitive admissions, announced in September it would be eliminating its binding early decision admission program beginning in fall 2007. A Sept. 12 press release from the university said the elimination was made in the hopes of being able to expand financial aid and "increase openness in admissions."

"The college admissions process has become too pressured, too complex and too vulnerable to public cynicism. We hope that doing away with early admission will make the process simpler and fairer," Harvard Interim President Derek Bok said in the release.

Harvard's announcement started a small trend among its Ivy League peers. Less than a week later, on Sept. 18, Princeton University announced that it too would be ending its early admission program, also saying it hoped to gain a broader range of applicants.

"We feel that ending early decision at Princeton will make the application process more equitable," Cass Cliatt, a spokeswoman for the university, said in an e-mail. "Students from more disadvantaged backgrounds often come from schools without the college preparation resources to apply early, and low-income students are often discouraged from applying early because they fear they won't have an opportunity to compare financial aid packages."

When applying to colleges, high school students often think if a school has an early admissions option, their chances of being admitted are lessened if they do not submit early.

"I think there is the feeling that (students) will be more advantaged if they apply early," said Roby Blust, dean of undergraduate admissions at Marquette, which does not have early decision or early admission. "Early decision and early admission are all to the benefit of the institution. It disadvantages students that don't have access to information on colleges."

Princeton also cited this practice of applying early to gain an advantage as one of its reasons for discontinuing the program.

"Applying early has become a way for applicants to 'game' the system. Students are applying early, not necessarily because they love Princeton or even have a real desire to come to Princeton, but because they learn they have a better chance statistically of being admitted if they apply early," Cliatt said.

Even the non-Ivy League University of Virginia followed suit by making a similar announcement at the end of September.

"I don't think it will make a dramatic impact," said David Hawkins, director of public policy for the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. "This isn't going to swing the door open, but it's one less lock students will have to open."

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