College & Workforce Readiness

Word of Early Decision and Early Action Has Students Buzzing

By Caralee J. Adams — December 19, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Word was trickling out last week to high school seniors anxiously waiting to hear early if they got in to their top choice college. So, it’s time when lots of people are talking about Early Decision and Early Action and how it works.

Early Decision (a binding commitment) is offered by 22 percent of colleges and Early Action (not binding) is offered by 30 percent of colleges surveyed by the National Association of College Admission Counseling in 2011. Private colleges are much more likely than publics to offer ED policies. More-selective colleges are more likely to offer ED, while colleges with lower yield rates were more likely to offer EA.

After several years of growth, just 38 percent of colleges last year reported increases in ED applications, and 36 percent reported increases in ED admissions. EA continues to rise, with 72 percent of colleges reporting more EA applications over the past year, and 68 percent reporting increases in EA admissions, according to the NACAC survey.

The Daily Beast is reporting early-admission applications are up, but acceptance rates are down—painting an ever competitive picture of the process. Results are posted from 21 top colleges.

The Yale Daily News reports that the total number of early applications were down about 18 percent at Yale from the previous year, and acceptance rates rose slightly. Last week, Yale admitted 15.7 percent of its early-action applicants (675 of 4,304), up from 14.5 percent the year before.

The drop at Yale may be linked to competitors Harvard and Princeton reinstating EA policies this year, after a four-year stop in the practice. Harvard reportedly accepted 772 of 4,231 early applicants—about 18 percent. Princeton let in 21 percent or 726, or 3,443 early applicants.

Students who were passed over for ED or EA are often deferred, leaving them to linger through the process in the spring. Others are rejected outright.

For students who didn’t get happy ED or EA news, they face the dilemma of whether or not to pin their hopes on one school again and try for Early Decision II. For more on that strategy, see my post from last month.

For those who got into their dream school, congrats. The college-search process is over. Enjoy the holidays—but don’t distract your classmates too much who still have applications to finish by December 31. Before long, the weight of college applications will be lifted for everyone, and you can all bask in second-semester senior status. However, that doesn’t mean letting up altogether: Colleges hate to do it, but they will revoke offers if your grades plummet before graduation.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can College-Going Be Less Risky Without Being 'Free'?
Rick Hess speaks with Peter Samuelson, president of Ardeo Education Solutions, about Ardeo's approach to make paying for college less risky.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty