From: Phillipian, Jan 11, 2008
Early Application Decisions Released; Duke Applicants Go Seven for Seven
Jan 11, 2008
Last month, Phillips Academy Seniors received 103 letters of acceptance to 57 colleges and universities across the country, giving the class of 2008 a 50 percent acceptance rate for early applications.
This year, 170 Seniors sent 208 early applications. As of January 9, 47 binding Early Decision applications and 56 non-binding Early Action applications were accepted.
Although the number of early applications decreased from last year’s 221, the percent of accepted applications is the same. However, the data regarding early admission is incomplete because some schools have yet to release their decision letters.
In a significant increase, Duke University accepted all seven students who applied early this year. Last year, Duke accepted three of the four applicants for early admission.
John Anderson, Director of College Counseling, said, “With Duke going seven out of seven, that was a huge surprise. Not to say that the students weren’t deserving, but usually that is not going to happen.”
“Those seven were candidates that we were interested in and that we were excited about,” said Leonard Satterwhite, Senior Associate Director and Acting Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University. “They were students we felt had compelling reasons on their own for them to be admitted.”
Satterwhite said, “We don’t have school quotas … for any given year, for us, any student that we admitted early decision we admitted for a certain reason, in terms of what we feel they would contribute to Duke - in terms of their talent or academic preparation.”
Harvard University and Princeton University both discontinued their early application programs after the 2007 admission process. The College Counseling Office anticipated that the Seniors who might have sought early admission to Harvard and Princeton would instead turn to other universities that offer a nonbinding form of early admission, otherwise known as Early Action.
Early Decision programs, in contrast, are binding for admitted students.
Anderson said, “With Early Decision, you have to really be certain that that school is where you want to go. That is why many were projecting increases at early action schools, because people aren’t just going to throw away an extra application.”
As expected, the number of applicants seeking non-binding early admission on a nation-wide scale swelled at some universities, including Yale and Stanford.
The College Counseling Office calculated an approximate 60 percent increase in the number of early applications to Yale. In 2007, 17 students applied early to Yale, whereas in 2008 the number grew to 27.
Other significant rises in early acceptances to colleges include those from the University of Chicago, with seven out of 12 applicants admitted this year, an increase from the three acceptances out of five applicants in 2007. Georgetown University also accepted seven Phillips Academy Seniors from 14 applicants this year, compared to six out of 19 acceptances last year.
Although the percent of admittances at individual colleges increased, the percent of early applicants from the Senior class declined from last year. 195 out of 327 Seniors, or 60 percent, from the Class of 2007 applied early. This year, 170 out of 301 Seniors, or 56 percent, from the Class of 2008 applied early.
Anderson said, “It depends upon every individual student in an individual decision. I don’t see our students this year being so swept up in a frenzy of early applications, which I think is good. [The number of early applications] had been steadily and steadily going up until this year.”
He added, “College Counseling didn’t necessarily think it was a good thing. This year may be a reflection as to students just being more thoughtful about the whole situation. Having more time to consider all the possibilities may be a better route than to rush into focusing on a single college.”
Overall, Anderson said, this year proved to be “quite successful” for Phillips Academy Seniors in the early admission process.
“Most of the numbers are up in terms of the percent of students who were admitted to these schools,” said Anderson. “I think whenever there is a good number of students who are accepted early, I think that’s a really good reflection upon those students who did a good job of identifying what college matches them and then picking one of those.”
He continued, “Sometimes people seem to ask ‘What did the College Counseling Office do?’ In my sense, it’s really the effort of the students doing their research and doing a thorough job of analyzing how good of a match the college will be. It’s much more of what the students do than what we do.”