Harvard Reinstates Early Admissions
CAMBRIDGE, MA. (CollegetoCareers.com) – After making the effort to streamline the stressful college admissions process, Harvard College announced recently that it will resume the early admissions process, which previously allowed high school students to submit their applications earlier and discover their acceptance status months into their junior year.
In 2006, Harvard eradicated its early admissions process in order to transform something widely perceived to give students from wealthier families an unfair advantage in their efforts to enter one of the nation’s most highly selective universities.
Harvard administrators believed at the time that this stand-alone measure would encourage other selective universities to follow suit and allow a fairer opportunity for students from low-income families or those with less socioeconomic clout.
Shortly after the announcement, Princeton and the University of Virginia, which had joined Harvard in eliminating the early admissions process, announced the reinstatement of their programs, too.
William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, said that administrators approved the decision to restore an early admissions process because of a greater desire by students for information about early choice, according to The Boston Globe.
The early admissions process will come back into effect in fall 2011 for students who want to enter Harvard as freshmen in 2016. Harvard chose to further distinguish itself as a selective university by refusing to obligate the attendance of students accepted on an early basis.
Reports were mounting before the announcements that otherwise highly competitive students had failed to submit their Harvard applications in favor of other universities on the basis of their early admissions programs.
The Boston Globe reports that Fitzsimmons added that 60 to 80 percent of juniors and graduating seniors apply early to other colleges.
Administrators had hoped that the implementation of a single application deadline for Harvard College candidates in 2007 would simplify and make fairer a sometimes daunting application. Studies had shown that students from low-income families and backgrounds failed to submit their applications on the basis of misinformation or a lack of information, creating a situation in which trends yielded an unfair advantage for students from more privileged families.
Harvard College administrators say that many talented students continue to choose other universities with early admissions processes.