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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dean Furstenberg criticizes new Early Action policies

Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg criticized the decision of certain universities, such as Brown, Harvard and Georgetown Universities, to allow students to apply to multiple schools under the Early Action program, describing the new policy as " irresponsible."

Under the new policy, students are not limited to selecting only one school to apply as an Early Action candidate. The changes were announced last Spring and went into effect this September, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

"I think that most admissions officers will agree with me that what the schools have done is irresponsible, and it will make it very difficult for them to predict their yields," Furstenberg said.

One of the most visible results of the policy has been that Brown and Georgetown both saw an increase in Early Admission applicants.

This year, Brown received more than 4,600 applications for early admission -- an increase of more than 1,850 over last year. Georgetown experienced a 40 percent growth and Harvard's early applicant pool was unchanged.

Furstenberg said he expects the overall size of the applicant pool to remain unchanged for the schools that have implemented the new policy.

"Harvard has traditionally had one of the highest yields," he said. "Other schools will see a shift from regular applicants to early applicants."

Furstenberg also noted that many colleges and universities are moving towards adopting Early Decision programs, which unlike the Early Action programs at Brown and Harvard, commits the student to attending the school if accepted early.

"Harvard and Brown are the only two Ivies without Early Decision programs," he said. "A lot of the smaller New England schools are also committed to Early Decision."

Many of the schools with Early Decision programs have seen little or no change in their applicant pools this year.

"The essence of each program is so different that the Early Action program has little influence on us," University of Pennsylvania Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson said.

Under Early Decision, the student is committed to matriculate at the institution if accepted. With Early Action, the student is not bound to matriculate at the school if accepted.