The wait is over: The 5Cs have released their Early Decision (ED) II notifications.
Pomona College received fewer ED applications this year, decreasing from 736 in 2013-2014 to 717 in this year’s applicant pool. The admit rate for this year’s ED candidates stayed around 19-19.5 percent, with an acceptance level roughly equal to last year. Students admitted through ED make up approximately 37 percent of their overall class.
Interim Dean of Admissions Joel Hart said ED applicants are considered with the same criteria as regular decision applicants.
“I think there is sort of an expectation that students who are applying Early Decision … need to be bringing something definitive and concrete to the first-year class,” Hart said. “But I don’t think that’s necessarily all that different than what we’re looking for in Regular Decision anyway.”
According to Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Seth Allen, this was the first time Pomona released its decisions online. Allen said that applicants had asked before whether decisions could be viewed online. However, admission decisions will also be sent by mail, as the college does not yet feel confident about relying solely on the online system.
Hart said that ED helps the students who “have identified that Pomona is their first choice” and “it helps us manage our own understanding of what the first-year class is going to look like.”
The admit rate for ED candidates at Scripps College has risen from 40 percent in 2013 to 45 percent this year. Scripps Director of Admission Laura Stratton said that statistics vary every year.
“Admissions is really a human process and statistics completely depend on the students who apply,” she said.
Harvey Mudd College admitted about 17 percent of ED applicants in both 2013 and 2014. The college had more applicants this year, increasing from 358 last year to 434 this fall. According to Peter Osgood, the director of admission, the 434 applicants will make up about 34 percent of the class of 2019, up from 31 percent of the class of 2018.
“Our entering classes hover near the [200-person] mark and so the numbers and [percentage] of ED can fluctuate from year to year if there is a change of as few as 6 people,” Osgood wrote in an email to TSL.
Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid Thyra Briggs wrote in an email to TSL that even though the college holds the same standards for the ED pool as the regular decision pool, one aspect that it might pay more attention to is whether students have done “careful research” and “understand the college well.”
“The problem now is that many students simply apply early decision somewhere because they think they have to rather than because they have thoughtfully identified a true first choice college,” Briggs wrote. “Students should not approach this process thinking ‘I know I want to apply early somewhere. I just don’t know where.’”
Even though Claremont McKenna College released ED decisions Feb. 13, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid Georgette DeVeres wrote in an email to TSL that ED results will not be available for a few weeks.
“CMC has a firm policy that we are unable to release institutional data or statistics until it had been verified by our Office of Institutional Research (OIR),” she wrote.
Pitzer College Interim Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid Jamila Everett wrote in an email to TSL that “this year’s Early Decision pool was the largest in the college’s history with 405 applications.”
This is a nine percent increase from last year. The ED admission rate remained nearly the same, with 29 percent this year compared to 30 percent last year. Everett added that the college has managed to maintain a perfect gender ratio for the students admitted through ED.
When asked whether ED could give more advantage to students of a higher socioeconomic background because they are more knowledgeable and prepared for the college application process, Hart said, “I don’t think it’s any easier for them to get in Early Decision than it is for them to get in Regular Decision or any other time of the year. We still are going to hold them to a pretty high standard. We expect that they will have taken advantage of the advantages that they have.”
Briggs wrote that even though HMC meets 100 percent of the demonstrated need for both the ED pool and the Regular Decision pool, students who need financial aid should understand that they will not able to compare aid between various colleges if they are accepted as ED.
“The way we address this concern is by being relatively conservative with the percentage of the class that we bring in via early decision,” Briggs wrote. “This way we still leave the majority of spaces available to students who financially don’t think applying early [makes] sense for their family.”
Regular decision applicants to the 5Cs will be notified of decisions on or around April 1.