84 seniors accepted early

Eighty-four Seniors received the happy news over winter break that they had been accepted early to college. Of the 166 Seniors who applied early this year, these acceptances totaled a 51 percent yield, a slight increase from last year’s acceptance yield, which rested at 48 percent. Admittance rates at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford and MIT, however, were noticeably lower than in past years. The difference was most notable for those who applied to MIT, whose acceptance rate was 18 percent this year, down from 50 percent last year. An MIT press release reported that MIT received 5,684 early applications, a 13 percent increase from last year, and accepted 590 students, making a 10 percent acceptance rate. While acceptance percentages have been decreasing for the past three years, the actual number of admittances has been about the same each fall for many colleges. Stanford accepted eight members from the class of 2008, nine Seniors from 2009, and seven from 2010, indicating a stable trend. MIT shows a similar trend, having accepted four students in 2008, five in 2009 and three in 2010. Anderson said, “The clear exception is the class of 2009 when 15 of 39 [Yale] applicants were admitted. We knew then that was not a sustainable result.” Yale admitted six out of 23 applicants from the class of 2010 for this year’s early action round. “In 2009, Stanford and Yale instituted the restrictive early action option, and Harvard and Princeton dropped all early programs. With two such significant changes thrown into the mix, comparing numbers from year to year is difficult,” said Anderson. The College Counseling Office advised early applicants to consider the economy in their application process. Despite the rising tuitions of many colleges, student loans and the poor state of the economy, Anderson said that “economic factors don’t seem to be playing a bigger role” in deterring applications. The CCO observed a small increase in the number of students who indicated that they would apply for financial aid, but Anderson stressed that these numbers were low. “From the little data we have so far, there aren’t going to be any changes occurring,” he said. Even so, the CCO is concerned that students might not receive as much aid as they wanted. Some students who applied early have yet to report their results to the College Counseling Office, resulting in incomplete data for tabulations for some colleges. The early application process was a stressful process for most Seniors, and an especially long road for athletes like Dan Austin ’10. Austin has played on Varsity Football since his Lower year, was accepted early decision to Brown University. Austin spent his Upper winter cutting and mixing a highlight tape of his football plays to send to colleges. He communicated regularly with college coaches, and also spent a month of the summer on the road attending football camps and visiting campuses across the Northeast. When asked what he felt about his application process, Austin said, “For a while I thought it was really tedious; then I realized how much of a privilege it was to choose [where I would go].” Brenna Liponis ’10, decided she wanted to apply early decision to Dartmouth only two weeks before the deadline. The worst part of the process, she said, was that the decision was released in the middle of her final test for Arabic 100 during Extended Period Week. “I was too nervous to check over my answers, so I left the final early,” Liponis said. Having been accepted, Liponis now looks forward to “no more standardized tests, more Hulu and actually sitting in class and listening rather than making to-do lists,” she said. Katy Svec ’10 convinced herself that she did not want to apply early. She had settled on applying regular to her six top schools: Bates, Middlebury, Pomona, Claremont McKenna and Stanford. Ten days before the early applications were due, Svec decided that she wanted to apply early decision to Middlebury. “Everyone was so excited about applying early,” Svec said. “I wanted that feeling too.” What followed was a frantic rush to write her application and request recommendations from her teachers. Svec will join the Middlebury Class of 2014, and looks forward to its language program, rock climbing, theater, School Year Abroad opportunities and a beautiful campus. “I wanted something like PA, but just a little bit bigger,” she said. Son Htet ’10, a one-year Senior from Myanmar, has already undergone the Burmese college application process which entails six days of testing. Htet admitted that he prefers the American college application process. “It’s much less stressful,” he said. With the early application process, the class of 2010 now turns its head toward the regular decision round. This year, the top four regular application schools were Harvard (106), Brown (100), Yale (95) and Princeton (90). These numbers do not deviate significantly from last year’s figures, when the schools that attracted the greatest number of applicants were Yale (104), Harvard (97), Brown (95) and Princeton (92). On average, each student applied to 10 different schools this year, bringing the total number of regular applications to 2,927, as of January 12. This number is higher than the tally from the class of 2009, which completed 2,744 applications. The average number of schools applied to per student then was 12. In a divergence from past trends, the number of individual colleges Seniors applied to rose from 246 last year to 271. Applications for so-called “brand name” colleges were also larger this year. They are listed as follows, with the net increase of applications sent to those schools between 2009 and 2010 beside the name: Boston College (17), Boston University (19), Dartmouth College (12), Duke University (12), Emory University (14), Georgetown University (16), Harvard University (9), MIT (9), NYU (9) and UPenn (12). Anderson said that, no matter the outcome for the college application process, “Competition for a spot in the class of 2014 will be intense.”