Early Application Numbers

Early App Numbers, Early Decision Numbers, Early Action Numbers

Each and every year seems to be “the best class ever” at every highly selective college…not only Brown.

Ivy Coach is featured extensively on the pages of “The Brown Daily Herald” today, the newspaper of Brown University. In a piece by Alex Skidmore entitled “Jump in early admission lowers total acceptance rate,” the slug-line (is that what you call it?) reads: “Ivy Coach expert says higher early admission rate calculated effort to boost University rankings.” Well but of course! Regular readers of our college admissions blog know that highly selective colleges (and Brown is surely not the only culprit here — they’re all guilty) want as many students to apply as possible since, invariably, the more students who apply, the lower the acceptance rate will be. One does not need to take Differential Equations to understand this math. It’s simple arithmetic. And long division, we suppose.

It’s the best class ever! It’s not like we’ve never seen that before. JK!

As we’re quoted in the piece, “Brian Taylor, director of Ivy Coach, offered a different perspective. The number of applications that the University has received in total has risen steadily over the years, but the University is not receiving more qualified applicants, he said. ‘Colleges are getting better and better at getting unqualified students to apply,’ Taylor said. This allows the University to tout ‘the most competitive class ever,’ he added. This process is meant to boost a school’s U.S. News and World Report ranking, Taylor said. ‘There is no bigger impact (on admission) than the annual rankings,’ he added. In some parts of the world, the U.S. News and World Report rankings system is ‘the Bible’ of college admission and a deciding factor for many students applying, he said.”

The piece goes on, “When universities admit more students through a binding early decision process, they have to admit fewer students during regular decision, thereby lowering their overall acceptance rate, Taylor said. Universities are guaranteed 100 percent matriculation from early decision applicants because of their binding commitment to attend the school.” And it goes on further, “Brown and its peer schools then have to admit more students than they expect will eventually attend, increasing their acceptance rate and lowering their selectivity score for the rankings. Though this phenomenon occurs at all highly selective universities, Penn has used this tactic most blatantly, Taylor said.”

We always do like to offer that “different” perspective. Whatever. We’ll own it. Agree with us? Disagree? We’re curious to hear your thoughts so post a Comment below and we’ll be sure to write back.


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