Princeton and Early Decision

There’s an interesting article posted February 8, 2007 on “News@Princeton” by Cass Cliatt: “Princeton sets third consecutive applications record.” In Princeton University’s last Early Decision class, (at least for right now), another new record has been set. Applications are up from last year 2 percent in Early Decision and 9% in Regular Decision.

In November 2006, Princeton received 2,276 applications for Early Decision and in December admitted 597 candidates. The students who were accepted under the Early Decision agreement comprise 48% of the 1,245 students of Princeton’s Class of 2011.

In Princeton’s Regular Decision pool, another 16,615 applications were received. Of those applicants, Princeton will admit only 648 students. This number includes any Early Decision applicants who had been deferred.

Applying to Princeton in the fall of 2008 will be different for wanna-be Tigers because there won’t be an Early Decision option. The elimination of Early Decision was instituted in an effort to create a less stressful admissions process and because Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman felt that Early Decision was a disadvantage to students who were not aware of the advantages.

In a letter posted September 18, 2006 on “News@Princeton,” President Tilghman states, “We agree that early admission ‘advantages the advantaged.’ Although we have worked hard in recent years to increase the diversity of our early decision applicants, we have concluded that adopting a single admission process is necessary to ensure equity for all applicants. We believe that elimination of early admission programs can reduce some of the frenzy, complexity and inequity in a process that even under the best of circumstances is inevitably stressful for students and their families.”

Time will tell whether or not Princeton officials will reinstate some form of early admissions. The application process for the fall of 2008 (the Class of 2012) should be very interesting to watch. It’s our guess that in a year or maybe two, Princeton will have an Early Action option. If they truly don’t want to “advantage the advantaged,” they will not revert back to Early Decision, but Early Action makes sense both for Princeton and for its applicant pool.

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