The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

73° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

    Harvard Ends Early Admission

    In a landmark motion last month, Harvard University‘s interim President, Derek Bok, announced that it would be discontinuing its early admissions program next year. This change directly affects current high school juniors who would be applying to Harvard next fall for entry into the class of 2008.

    On the heels of Harvard’s announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 12, Shirley M. Tilghman, President of Princeton University in New Jersey, has also decided to eliminate its early decision program. There are two types of early admissions programs that have grown very popular amongst hopeful high school seniors to be accepted to their first-choice school: early action and early decision. Early action programs, such as the one Harvard has implemented since the 1970s, are nonbinding, allowing students to apply to other schools and compare financial aid packages, while still receiving a decision from the school they applied to in early December instead of April. Early decision programs are binding, and require students who receive an offer of admission to terminate all other applications and attend the school they applied to early, with little say in their financial aid package.

    Harvard’s justification for removing the early admissions programs is to give low-income and other less-advantaged students the opportunity to apply to Harvard with every other applicant under a single, equal applicant pool. Financial aid packages would, in theory, will also be distributed more evenly.

    In recent years, there has been much debate behind the fairness of students who have sought extra help outside of school in applying to colleges, paying hefty fees for college admissions counselors and the like. Princeton President Tilghman acknowledged that early admissions programs do ‘advantage the advantaged,’ offering applicants the chance to secure a place in the school of their choice, leaving less-qualified applicants a more difficult chance of being admitted in the spring instead of in the fall/winter. There are a higher percentage of students being admitted under early admissions programs at many highly-ranked schools in the nation, and many students who do not meet grade levels and standards are usually recommended to apply to schools later in their senior year.

    However, a good portion of many schools’ freshman class (up to 40%) consists of students who were admitted under early action or early decision. Yet this method of admissions has served schools well, and with the trendsetting power Harvard weilds among the country’s elite universities and colleges, many schools, which might follow in its footsteps, could potentially lose many of their best candidates each year.

    Other universities and colleges are expected to follow in the footsteps of these two Ivy Leagues. In fact, the University of Virginia has reported its elimination of early admissions as well. In spite of this, Brown, Dartmouth, UPenn, and Yale (also Ivy League schools) have not indicated any changes to their admissions plans.

    Harvard is not the first to end its early admissions program. The University of Delaware had already announced in May that it would end its early admissions process. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ended its early admissions in program in 2002.

    In addition, Stony Brook’s early admissions program is currently still in place. High school seniors can apply to Stony Brook under the early action procedure. The school reviews these applications earlier and sends out notifications by January 1.

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Statesman

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Statesman

    Comments (0)

    All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *