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Yu: Early Decision: A Gamble Only the Wealthy Can Afford

(01/28/22 8:00am)

Watching groups of students and their parents tour Dartmouth, it’s hard not to reminisce about one’s own college admissions experience — an experience perhaps filled with disappointment and reflection or, for many students who were accepted via early decision, a sense of relief marking the end of an often agonizing journey. However, while the process of early decision is appealing, it often is only accessible for those with the wealth and intergenerational knowledge to utilize it. Students whose parents make more than $250,000 per year are twice as likely to apply early than students whose family makes less than $50,000. The early decision process exacerbates inequalities, and at Dartmouth, where 69% of students come from the top 20%, we need to ban it.