More Andover Students Apply E.A. to Yale University

For Ryan Park ’08, Harvard and Princeton’s decision to drop their early application programs made his choice to apply early to Yale easier. “If Princeton and Harvard both had their early programs, I would not have chosen Princeton over Yale,” Park said. “[But] I would have had to think about applying early to either Harvard or Yale.” Overall this year, 161 students submitted 195 early applications, according to the College Counseling Office. Twelve additional students listed as applying early have not yet submitted a secondary school report. Twenty-seven Seniors applied Early Action to Yale this fall, compared to last year’s 17 early applicants. Last year, 26 members of the Class of 2007 applied to Harvard’s Single-Choice Early Action program, and eight members applied to Princeton’s Early Decision program. The College Counseling Office anticipated the increase, according to John Anderson, Director of College Counseling. The increase directly corresponded to the discontinuation of Harvard and Princeton’s respective early application programs, Anderson said. “I think it’s pretty clear – it’s such a substantial jump in the number of applicants [applying early to Yale] – that it’s probably more related to Harvard and Princeton, particularly Harvard dropping their Early Action,” Anderson said. He continued, “Princeton was Early Decision, which was binding. There’s more of a likelihood that somebody would be saying, ‘If I could have applied Early Action to Harvard, I would’ve done that, but since I can’t, I’ll apply early someplace else with Early Action,’ and that someplace else happens to be Yale.” Anderson noted that other colleges with early application programs, such as Stanford and Georgetown, might also see an increase due to Harvard and Princeton’s eliminating of their programs. However, Yale University was the only school to see a large increase in early applications. Fifteen Phillips Academy Seniors decided to apply early to Stanford this year, the same number of early applicants as last year. Fourteen Seniors applied to Georgetown, compared to last year’s 18. However, Anderson said that he did not think the increase in the number of early applicants would greatly affect the number of students admitted early into Yale and other schools with early application programs. Despite the increased Yale early applicant contingent from Phillips Academy, the increased numbers did not deter the Seniors from applying early to the college of their choice. Rachel Blake ’08, one of the many applying early to Yale, said, “It doesn’t personally affect me. I’m just going to do what I have to do. I haven’t really thought about the fact that a lot of people are applying. It is [hard to get in] anyway.” Obinna Igbokwe ’08, another Yale early applicant, felt differently. “It’s just going to be harder [to get into Yale early] – the people who would’ve gotten in early to Harvard and Princeton are going to get in early elsewhere and take up those spots,” Igbokwe said. “It’s just going to make it harder, but I still want to go [to Yale].” Both Blake and Igbokwe consider Yale their top choice, and would have applied early to Yale even if Harvard and Princeton had kept their respective early application programs. “I’m applying to all three of the schools [Harvard, Princeton, and Yale], but Yale is definitely my first choice,” said Blake. Despite this increase in Andover’s numbers, the Yale Undergraduate Admissions Office would not confirm that such a spike in early applications existed overall. “We truly just do not know what effect the changes at Harvard and Princeton are going to have on our early applications pool,” wrote Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeff Brenzel in an email to The Phillipian. However, Brenzel later told the Yale Daily News, “We think that there is a greater chance that applications will go up than that they will go down. But we have absolutely no idea if they go up, by how much they would go up…We think we could handle a substantial increase in the application count.” In order to handle the increase in the number of early applicants, the Yale Admissions Office implemented a three-part “contingency plan.” The office planned on reading applications earlier and speeding up the application review process, according to the Yale Daily News. According to Dwight Miller, Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard, Harvard discontinued its early application program due to a perceived unfairness in acceptances. “After decades of one early program after another, we just decided that it was fair to the vast majority of the applicants,” Miller said. “Students who may be in much more of a financial bind than many students weren’t being able to take advantage of it….We just thought it was a leveling of the playing field, so to speak.” “We do not know how it’s going to work – we certainly hope it goes well,” he continued. “We’ll take it year by year and see how it goes.” Brenzel said that currently Yale had no specific plans to change its current Single-Choice Early Action program in the future. He also said that the office would perform an annual evaluation as a review in order to accommodate any changes in circumstances and students’ interests. “We think we made a thoughtful, considered decision last year,” he said to the Yale Daily News. He said to the Yale Daily News, “But you never want to say never on something like this. You have to reconsider your policy every time the landscape changes. What the next round will hold remains to be seen.”