Thursday, January 3, 2013

Costs of early admissions--to colleges

For starters, here's a November 15 column from the Chronicle of Higher Ed that I hesitated blogging about, since the URL seems to suggest it's just a draft. But it's been out for a while now despite that (
The Costs of Early-Admission Programs Are Many

The author, Louis Hirsh, was an admissions director at Deleware, and he recounds some of the costs of unraveling from the University's perspective.

There is no a virtue in giving teachers and counselors less time to write recommendations, especially when their letters would be more useful if they were written after they had seen more of their student’s senior year work.
Meanwhile, at admissions offices the growing number of early-notification applicants compresses the work of several months into several weeks. How ironic that we spend much of the year imploring students to write thoughtful applications only to hobble ourselves with early deadlines that make it impossible to give those applications the careful consideration that they richly deserve.
Defenders of early notification say that it relieves stress to be able to sit down for a holiday meal in December and know that you already have a college admission in hand. I don’t doubt that. I also agree that those who get “no” answers at least know where they stand, and can turn their attentions elsewhere.
The problem is that for many the answer is not “yes” or “no,” but “maybe.” If yours is a very selective college, the majority of your early applicants will become deferrals who are caught in an admissions limbo, an extended wait list, if you will. What about those students and their stress levels?
As anxious—and sometimes irate—parents and counselors call to ask about the decision and their student’s chances for eventual admission, your staff spends an inordinate amount of time in January and February talking to disgruntled people. That is bad for morale, and it certainly isn’t how you want your colleagues spending their time.
In the meantime, Harvard Magazine reports
"EARLY ACTION ACCELERATES. The College received 4,856 early-action applications for admission to the class of 2017, up 15 percent from 4,228 last year, when the program resumed after a four-year hiatus. Most other Ivy League schools also reported more early applicants this year, as students seek an admissions edge."

No comments: