Early apps not suffering in recession
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Share this article Published: Monday, December 29, 2008
Updated: Monday, December 29, 2008
NYU recently accepted 1,155 of the more than 3,000 early decision applicants for the fall 2009 class.
The acceptance rate increased slightly to 38.7 percent from last year's 33.3 percent. Barbara Hall, associate provost for enrollment management, did not attribute the increase to anything in particular; she noted that there were roughly the same number of early decision applications this year as there were for the class of 2008.
Recent articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education and The New York Times have predicted that many colleges will find it difficult to maximize enrollment goals this year because of the financial crisis. However Hall said that the office of admission was operating similarly to how it did last year and that the number and quality of applicants were relatively unchanged.
"Applications are coming in at a similar rate. Offers have not decreased," she said in an e-mail.
Mitchell Stevens, an associate professor of education in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and an associate professor at Stanford University, recently published "Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites," a book that chronicled what life is like in admissions offices.
Stevens reported that early decision aided undergraduate admission offices because it allowed them to assemble and manage new class sizes better.
"It's a very powerful enrollment management tool because it provides schools with assured admits," he said. "It means that there is a lot less uncertainty with the applicant. You know how much they're going to cost in terms of financial aid, and you know if they're going to come early."
After Harvard and Princeton universities dropped early admission possibilities for their respective classes of 2012, some higher education analysts believed that early decision would soon come to an end. But Stevens sees it differently.
"It's a strategy of the super elite, a cadre of schools that pretty much don't ever have to worry about filling their classes with students," Stevens said. "Early admission is just too useful a tool [for other schools] for lowering that uncertainty."
Now that the admissions process is over for early decision applicants, new students can breathe a sigh of relief. Elle Levy, a senior at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md., and a newly admitted student to the class of 2013, will be studying in the Tisch School of the Arts. She said her motives for applying to NYU started at an early age.
"I've always known I wanted to go to NYU — since I was eight," she said. "I was hoping that by applying early decision it would just be a whole lot nicer knowing whether I'd gotten into my dream school or not before the end of the year."
Levy, like many of the newly accepted early decision applicants, said she is counting the days until move-in this August.
"After getting my acceptance, I probably screamed for a good 10 minutes. I still haven't come off of this high yet. It's the best feeling."
Eric Platt is university editor. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org