Thursday, September 21, 2006

Early Admissions

The big college-related news in recent days has been the announcement that Harvard College will eliminate early admissions beginning in the fall of 2007. A similar announcement from Princeton followed soon thereafter. Will all of the Ivies follow suit?

I must be honest and admit that I have mixed feelings about this. The reasons in favor of eliminating early admissions are clear and just: early admissions contribute to the incredible pressure college applicants are already under; they may compel some students to commit to a school too early in the applications process, when they would be better served by taking their time and considering (and visiting) more schools; earlly admissions do more to help colleges manipulate their yield rate (and thereby enhance their placement in the U.S. News & World Report rankings) than they do to help students; and most unjustly of all, students who need to be able to compare financial aid packages from multiple schools are essentially shut out of the process.

Despite all of the aforementioned evils, I think DD would probably benefit from early admissions, so for purely selfish reasons I'd be sorry to see the option completely disappear. The University of Pennsylvania, for example, happens to be a school she has identified as being of interest to her, and Penn openly admits that students who take advantage of early admissions have a much greater chance of admittance. Given that my not-so-dear ex-husband ("Evil Ex") and I will be paying full freight, the financial aid issues won't affect us. So it's a shame for DD's sake that early admissions are likely to disappear at most of the schools to which she will decide to apply precisely when she will be doing so (i.e., in the fall of 2007).

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