The University received 3,831 early action applications as of Nov. 15, a slight increase over the 3,810 applications submitted last year. Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in an interview that she expects more applications to trickle in over the next few days as a result of ongoing technical problems with the Common Application website.
Rapelye said the Office of Admission is aiming for a class size of 1,290 students. Two years ago, 726, or 21.1 percent, of the 3,443 early applicants for the Class of 2016 were accepted, approximately half of the resulting class of 1,357 students. For the Class of 2017, 697, or 18.3 percent, of 3,810 early applicants were accepted, again approximately half of the 1,291 class size.
The yields for early admission were 83 and 81 percent for the Classes of 2016 and 2017, respectively. These numbers far exceed the 67 percent and 69 percent overall yield, which includes regular applicants, for the same years.
Glitches in a new version of the Common Application released this fall have caused over 50 schools to extend their deadlines for early action applicants, according to The Washington Post. The University’s deadline for the early admissions round, normally scheduled for Nov. 1, was delayed until Nov. 8, according to a press release posted on the Office of Admission website and announcements via Twitter and Facebook.
This is the third consecutive year the University has extended its early action deadline due to unforeseen difficulties. The deadline was extended the first two years due to hurricane-related power outages.
According to Rapelye, the Office of Admission will continue to accept applications over the next few days to accommodate students experiencing issues submitting through the Common Application.
“We’re trying to be as flexible as possible if students are having trouble applying. There’s always a little bit of fluctuation in the number of applicants right now,” Rapelye explained. “We want to make sure that everyone who had intended to apply or wanted to apply can. Sometimes students who already applied thought they were regular decision but want to be early action and let us know. And if we can process them, we will.”
Since Oct. 10, the Office of Admission has allowed students to apply through the Universal College Application, an alternative to the Common Application that is currently used by 40 schools.
The University reinstated the early admission application process in 2011 following Harvard College’s announcement that it would reinstate the process, just five years after it first followed Harvard in eliminating the binding early decision option. Rapelye explained that the Office of Admission wanted to avoid making premature conclusions about the successes and concerns with early action until it had sufficient data.
“This will be our third year with an early action process, and after this year we will have a three-year trend line. But we are still in the midst of reading applications and making decisions, so we don’t really make predictions,” Rapelye said when asked about the state of early action at the University.
Students applying through early action can be accepted, rejected or deferred to the regular applicant pool. Decisions for early admission will be released in mid-December, with the exact date to be determined. Applicants will receive their decisions online and by mail, and those accepted will have until May 1 to enroll.