The End of Early Admissions

Essay by midstreet1College, UndergraduateA+, November 2006

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The inception of the early admissions program was originally designated to provide extremely talented students the ability to compensate for being unable to prove their abilities during the senior year, more often than not they match the institutional standards. The process provides students with a reduced number of applications to be completed at one time, and gives colleges a predictable accepted student pool to look for before the regular admission process begins. The merits of this program rely on its rather early acceptance scheme, students who have displayed extremely competitive academic and/or athletic rigor in their earlier high school years will be judged accordingly without any clear projection on their current year's courses and their respective grades. This admissions scheme has been constantly criticized for its lack of concern for low-middle income families and even students whose academic rigors display potential during their senior years.

Of the primary concerns of this program is its possible inability to provide for all students admitted under its accepted pool.

University of Pennsylvania present Amy Gutmann writes that, "[colleges and universities] will accomplish nothing...unless [they] focus [their] attention on strengthening [their] need-based financial aid programs," to help outreach to lower and middle class students. Gutmann also cites that the main reason these need-based packages have been overlooked is because of the rather blatant emphasis on scholastic and athletic scholarships in its stead. These scholarships, "disproportionately favor students from higher-income families," Gutmann writes, "[while] consequently...[widening] the enrollment gap between high-income and both middle and low-income students". Jack Maguire, former Dean of Admissions at Boston College, comments on this trend very similarly. Maguire, like Gutmann, states that the gains of early admissions do not necessarily weigh out the costs of acceptance and in the process many students are hurt financially and academically if otherwise denied admission.