The University received 4,164 applications for admission to the Class of 2020 under the single-choice early action program as of Nov. 11, reflecting an approximate 9.4 percent increase from the number received for last year’s early action program on the same day, according to Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye.
Rapelye explained that the increase in number of applicants can be partly attributed to the admission office’s increased outreach initiatives this year. The admission office staff traveled and visited more cities and expanded its domestic and international outreach efforts, Rapelye said.
Rapelye also noted that though it is recommended, the SAT Subject Tests were not part of the application requirement this year for the first time.
“Our goal with that was that we wanted to make sure we included students who may not have had good [college] counseling to know that they needed to take the subject tests,” Rapelye said. “It’s hard to know whether this change affected the pool, but it is something new this year.”
Rapelye noted that as applications were submitted on Nov. 1, the Office of Admission has not compiled data on applicant demographics. Rapelye also noted that within a reasonable timeframe, the admission office will also consider late applications from students with extenuating circumstances.
Rapelye also noted that some students may consider joining the regular decision pool to include grades from their first semester senior year in their profile. Applicants have until Dec. 1 to inform the admission office if they do not wish to be considered for early admission or would like to join the early pool after checking for regular decision, she said.
“It is a hard process, and so if they change their mind, we will honor that,” Rapelye said.
When a file comes into the admission office, at least two adjudicators will review it and make evaluations, Rapelye explained. The Office of Admission temporarily hired 35 to 40 readers from outside the University this year. The files with the most promise will be brought to the committee, which is composed of members of the admission office charged by University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, the Board of Trustees and the faculty with putting together the next class.
“We will read out what the readers have written on each file and vote on the candidate,” Rapelye added. “We take our jobs very seriously.”
Rapelye explained that the admission office does not have a quota or target for admission offers.
“We will go through the committee and see if we have the right mix in terms of institutional priorities,” Rapelye said. “We apply exactly the same standards in early decision as we do in regular decision, so it’s not necessarily easier to get in early though the [applicant] number is lower.”
Applicants will receive their admission decisions by mid-December, according to Rapelye.
Last year, 767 early action applicants were admitted to the University’s Class of 2019 for an admission rate of 19.9 percent. The early action acceptance rates were 18.5 percent for the Class of 2018 and 18.3 percent for the Class of 2017.
“We will give all of the candidates every consideration in this process. We are always looking for reasons to admit students and will read their applicants with great interest,” Rapelye said.