220 PA Students Apply Early To Colleges, 100 Accepted

While underclassmen spent their winter breaks relaxing after the pressures of Fall term, 220 Seniors in the class of 2006 anxiously awaited decisions from over 45 college Early Action and Early Decision programs. As of January 6, 100 Andover students had been accepted. This year’s early results are “comparable to the last few years,” according to Director of College Counseling John Anderson. He noted that the percentage of accepted students, 45 percent, was similar to previous years’, which usually ranged between 40-50 percent. Because the College Counseling Office is still waiting to be informed of 12 students’ college decisions, Mr. Anderson stressed that the numbers are inconclusive and may not accurately express the success of this year’s early admission. However, significant differences between this year’s results and last year’s can be observed in the Phillips Academy early application statistics. The most noticeable increase was in the number admitted to Harvard University, which accepted seven Early Action applicants last year compared to twelve this year. While Stanford University admitted three Andover students last year, its numbers for the entering class of 2010 doubled with six Early Action acceptances. Brown University, compared to admitting five students Early Decision for the entering class of 2009, accepted eight Andover applicants. University of Pennsylvania admitted four Andover students last year and admitted six students this year. Anderson commented that this change could be due to this year’s increase in number of UPenn applicants There were a few notable decreases in the acceptance results of some colleges. Tulane University, which accepted five Seniors Early Action last year, admitted only one. Mr. Anderson named some colleges that have not typically received applications for the early deadline from Andover in previous years – Colorado College, Santa Clara University, and The Colorado School of Mines. One Andover student was admitted to each of these three colleges under their Early Action programs. Mr. Anderson noted that he did not observe too many exceptional trends this year and that no accurately conclusive results can be drawn from a single year’s data. The numbers do not always effectively predict matriculation totals, as Stanford and Yale switched their early admission system from Early Decision to Early Action. Students applying Early Decision have a binding agreement to attend the school if accepted, while Early Action is non-bonding. Anderson observed that there were a few more admittances to Ivy League schools this year, but emphasized that the aim of the College Counseling Office is to find school that best suits the student and his or her interests. “This isn’t about getting into a good school, but a school where you’ll do well and that fits your interests,” said Anderson. The communications policy regarding college admission results has been changed from previous years. As a member of the Eastern Independent Secondary School College Admissions Personnel (EISSCAP), the Phillips Academy College Counseling Office has enacted changes recommended by EISSCAP to publish only the number of students admitted to each school. Omitted in the released results is the total number of applicants, deferrals, and rejections. Director of College Counseling John Anderson stated that the intention of the change in this policy is to provide information that will help students and show strengths of the individual institutions. The ultimate goal of EISSCAP is to work with its members to instill student-focused practices. Rachel Isaacs ’06, who was accepted Early Decision to Brown, said, “Considering the number of students who applied, I was not surprised by the number of people who got in.” Dan Taylor ’06 applied Early Decision to University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School, and was deferred. There were no Andover students accepted early to Wharton this year. He was not surprised that his application was deferred. “[Wharton is] pretty selective,” said Taylor. Numbers and statistics aside, Anderson said, “You have to be careful to not draw too much conclusion from one year’s data. Colleges are thinking about their own needs…the type of institutional needs that makes it difficult for Andover students or [college counselors] to predict [what will happen].” He continued, “What [the College Counseling Office] is worried about is how close a match a school is. If we can go down the list at the end of the day…and students can say ‘Yup that’s where I got in and that’s where I want to get in’ then we have done our job.”