Taking early action

New York Times: Princeton Stops Its Early Admissions, Joining Movement to Make Process Fairer. This change hits oddly close to home. I was a beneficiary of one of Princeton’s early admission processes. At that point they came in two flavors: early decision, which was a binding agreement that you would go to the school if they accepted you, and early action, in which the college announced its decision early and you had until spring to decide to accept the offer. It’s not clear whether one or both of these options was discontinued.

It’s also interesting to me that Princeton is following this road so soon after Harvard’s decision. It wasn’t that long ago that major university admissions organizations were in trouble for collusion when they made major changes to their admissions systems. I’ll be curious to see how this goes, since it looks like the trend is definitely spreading beyond the few schools that started this process.

I have to confess, though, that I was surprised to see the link between early admission and disadvantage for lower income students. I never felt at a disadvantage in the process, perhaps because I was insulated from it—I only knew one other student who was applying to Princeton. But I think that the college admissions consulting industry has gotten much stronger since then as well.