This was the year when the frenzy to gain early admission to the nation’s most selective colleges seemed likely to subside, at least in part because a student admitted under a binding early program cannot seek competing financial aid offers as leverage to negotiate a better package.Not sure I'd have been worth early admissions, but I wish I had known that I can get better financial aid if I had establised that other universities had admitted me and offered good financial aid. It could mean the difference between borrowing or scholarships. At that I would have to work to continue justifying that as well.
But for many admissions offices, there appears to have been no letup.
Duke, Northwestern, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Dartmouth, among other highly selective colleges, received substantially more applications for their early decision programs this year than they did last.
Other colleges, including Wesleyan, Emory, Pomona and Grinnell, drew about as many early applications this fall as they did last fall, a time when the economic downturn was only just beginning. Each of those programs requires students to withdraw all other applications and attend if admitted.
“The fear of not getting in is a trump card,” said Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, a private school, and a former admissions officer at Stanford. “That fear is more powerful than any piece of factual information, such as, ‘Gee, colleges are having a hard time with financial aid, maybe we should cast our net fairly widely and not jump the gun and throw our eggs all in one basket.”’
2 days ago