Bev Taylor, Founder of Ivy Coach, is featured today on the pages of “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania. In a piece by Caroline Simon entitled “Early decision applicants fill more than half of the Class of 2019,” Bev raises her voice against the claim that colleges are need blind. If you’re a regular reader of our college admissions blog, you know well that we have asserted for years that need blind admissions is an absolute farce. Just think about it — if colleges were really need blind, then why can admissions officers view whether or not an applicant needs financial aid on his or her Common Application? This very fact alone indicates that colleges are not need blind. Blind is indicative of not being able to see. But they can see. And if colleges were to admit a class in which every student needed financial aid — which is entirely possible under such a system — they’d have to dip into their endowment. Colleges rely on tuition dollars.
Anyhow, the piece on the Penn Early Decision numbers in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” states that Early Decision applicants to Penn will fill 54.4% of the Class of 2019. This year marked the second year in a row that Penn admitted more than half of its students from the Early Decision pool. If you ever want to see a case example of the benefits of applying Early Decision vs. Regular Decision, Penn is the shining case example and it has been for some time. According to the article, “With over half of the Class of 2019 admitted early decision, Penn’s commitment to forming a socioeconomically diverse class is called into question. Early decision applicants tend to have more affluent backgrounds since they can afford to commit to Penn before discovering their financial aid packages.”
But Bev has something to say about that. As quoted in the piece, “‘A good percentage of applicants in the early round are not asking for aid,’ Bev Taylor, founder of Ivy Coach, a New York-based college consulting firm, said…Taylor suggested that schools like Penn might fill the socioeconomic gaps with regular decision applicants. She added that the large number of regular decision applications that Penn receives allows the admissions office to build the diversity of the incoming class, despite the segment that has already been filled in the early decision round. ‘There are enough applicants in the regular round to make that class a very diverse class, ethnically, socioeconomically, geographically,’ Taylor said. However, Taylor questioned Penn’s claim that it does not consider financial need. ‘As much as colleges say they’re need-blind, I’m not believing it,’ she said. She added that in order for students requesting aid to have a high chance of being accepted early decision, they must have a ‘compelling enough case.’ ‘Penn has the money to spend on students like that,’ Taylor said.” They sure do.