2020-2021 Early Application Rumors

Rumor has it that Early applications are up at many of America’s elite universities (photo credit: Ad Meskens).

Around this time every year, our nation’s highly selective colleges tend to report how many Early Decision / Early Action applications have been received. After all, it’s November 20th and most ED/EA applications, with exceptions like Duke University, were due on November 1st. It doesn’t take 20 days to count the applications — not even at universities in the great state of Georgia where it turns out they’re quite accurate at counting. In any case, why are these schools so far rather mum on application figures? Typically, if a school doesn’t come out with a press release about how many applications they’ve received, it means the numbers are down. And why? Because colleges love to brag. But, this year, rumor has it that applications are not down. In fact, they’re up. And they’re up rather significantly — including among low-income students and international students.

Rumor Has It Applications from Low-Income Students Are Up

This may come as a surprise to many but, hey, 2020 is the year of surprises! Who ever would have thought that students across the country would be disappointed that they don’t have to go to school but could instead do school from their bedrooms? We never thought we’d see the day. In any case, many speculated that applications from low-income students would be down this fall because — due to the pandemic — admissions officers didn’t get to visit high schools to encourage these young people to apply. Without this outreach, some feared these schools would rely on the tried and trusted schools, schools with long track records at elite universities. But, fear not, parents of students at tried and trusted high schools. Even with applications of low-income students up, these universities are still going to rely heavily on the hand they know. It’s what they do.

Rumor Has It Applications from International Students Are Up

Many also speculated that international student applications would be down. After all, these students submitted their applications prior to President Trump, a leader who has not exactly been friendly to international students studying at America’s universities, losing his bid for re-election. These students also submitted their applications when the United States’ COVID-19 case count was, well, the highest of any nation in the world — as it remains today. But for this year’s batch of international applicants, well, the lure of the Ivy League just seems to have outweighed it all. As is often the case, the Ivy League schools prove to be exceptions to the rule — not the rule. When President Trump took office, many thought international applications to America’s colleges would decline. And they were right. But, as our crystal ball correctly projected back in 2016, international applications to our nation’s elite universities would remain strong. They proved to be an exception.

Stay tuned for updates on application figures to our nation’s elite universities!

 
 

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1 Comment

  • John says:

    Since Princeton did not offer Early Action this year, it makes sense that the other top colleges would see an increase in their early applications, even if the overall pool of top students applying early is slightly smaller.

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