# of EA Acceptances - Preliminary Stats

<p>Early</a> Decision / Early Action Stats - Class of 2014 | InLikeMe</p>

<p>This college consulting website has begun to put up the Early applicant stats for a range of America's top schools. This isn't definite, but looks like Chicago did indeed send out a very high number of early acceptances (1676, to be exact). </p>

<p>Now, others have pointed out that perhaps the yield could fluctuate quite a bit this year because of the economy and weaker financial aid packages, but unless something drastically changes, it seems as if at least 50% of the Chicago Class of 2014 will be comprised of early admits. </p>

<p>Initially, then, it looks like the early accept rate is around 28%, and the regular accept rate to fill the remaining 600 or so seats will be around 14% (this assumes a very conservative 10% growth in the RD pool). The overall accept rate should be around 18-19%. </p>

<p>Thoughts about all this?</p>

<p>Again, accepting more early could be a shrewd move. These kids may actually be more enthusiastic about Chicago, and, if for nothing else, have an additional 4 months to learn more about the school and get more excited about the U of C before the RD rejections come bursting forth from Stanford, Yale, Brown, etc. </p>

<p>A few of my interviewees got accepted early at U of C, and I must admit, I'm pleasantly surprised by their initial responses. They seem quite interested in the school, and were unwilling, from what I could tell, to lock themselves to an ED school. Their other options will most likely be quite limited come April, and they will probably end up in Hyde Park in September.</p>


<p>how are you projecting the RD acceptance rate? Did you roll back all the EA deferrals into the RD calculation? Or, did you just divide the likely # of RD acceptances by the applicants who are applying to RD (not EA deferrals). </p>

<p>If you included EA referrals, how did you come up with this number: we know how many were accepted, but we don't know how many were rejected, so we don't know the rough # of deferrals. </p>

<p>If you projected 14% or so for the RD acceptance rate without the EA deferrals, then the actual acceptance rate for the kids who are applying to RD is actually even LOWER than the number you projected since the actual RD competition pool should include the EA deferrals. Say, the EA+RD total application number is ~17500 (a reasonable projection). Out of ~5700 EA kids, ~1650 got admitted. Let's assume that ~1000 got rejected. That leaves ~14800 kids. Let's say, they need to admit 650 kids in the RD round, and RD yield is 38%. Then they need to accept ~1700. With this assumption, RD acceptance rate is 11-12%. The EA and RD acceptance rate difference is unconscionably high.</p>

<p>I dunno. I feel something is not right that there should be such a huge acceptance rate difference between unrestricted EA and RD (28% vs. something even lower than your projected 14%). Especially, such a radical change in just one year? It's one thing to have the overall acceptance rate change drastically: it affects everybody more or less the same. However, it's quite another to give such an AMAZING boost to the EA applicants, the like of which has never seen before - the pattern that is radically different from just a year ago. It feels like "punishment" for the unsuspecting RD kids who, based on the historical "behavior" of U Chicago, never imagined that they would be so penalized for not applying to EA. It doesn't feel like a level playing field. It feels like unfair punishment for the RD kids. </p>

<p>Given this, I am even considering the possibility that the huge EA number is mostly a result of just shifting: kids who were going to apply to RD decided to apply early to EA. And, Nondorf and staff sensed/noticed this, and decided to maintain more or less the comparable acceptance rate for EA as previous years. Meaning, they are seeing that RD application numbers don't look that high. Either this, or, they have a reason to beliethe historical yield rate for EA, a reasonable increase in RD application also (not just for EA), then the resulting disparity between the unrestricted EA and RD acceptance rates is simply not sustainable.</p>


<p>I did not rollback EA deferrals because I simply have no idea how many Chicago rejected/deferred for this year. So, in essence, the RD accept rate I provided was a bit inflated. Also, while there may have been some shift of those that were going to apply RD and instead went EA, I don't know if the shift is that substantial. Rather, I think some pounced on the chance to apply EA, but that RD numbers will also be somewhat higher this year, mainly because we're in the 2nd year of the Common App period. </p>

<p>Either way you cut it, though, this upcoming RD round is going to be rough on Chicago applicants. Say a lot of RD kids did shift to EA, and we have a pretty stagnant RD pool (say, maybe 3-4% increase from last year). Even without taking the deferred EA candidates into consideration, the RD accept rate would be, at best, around 16%. That's a far cry from the 28% accept rate for the EA round.</p>

<p>The point of the matter is, any way you cut it, now Chicago, just like Duke or Columbia or Brown, seems to be signaling that applying early can only benefit an applicant. The past couple years, the EA accept rate and overall accept rate for Chicago was quite close (maybe 30% EA accept rate, 20-25% RD accept rate). Now, it seems the landscape has changed dramatically, with likely a 12-14% RD accept rate, compared to a 28% early accept rate.</p>

<p>On another note, I think it's hard to "predict" what Chicago will do. In about 11 years, the acceptance rate has plummeted about 50%, from about 65% to (what I assume will be) around 18%. No other school has seen close to this drastic level of change over such a short span. I think Penn is the second-closest in terms of dramatic change, and even at UPenn, 11 years ago, the accept rate was around 35-40%, and is now around 18%. </p>

<p>On the other hand, place like Yale and Princeton were accepting maybe around 18-20% of students 11 years ago, and are now accepting around 10% of students. Brown and Dartmouth accepted maybe 25% 11 years ago, and are now accepting around 15%. For all of these other schools, the change has been incremental and predictable. Each new year is a bit harder than the last.</p>

<p>For Chicago, on the other hand, the change has been rapid and substantive. I'd argue that over the past decade, no top school has seen as much change as Chicago's college. There's really been an emphasis on overhauling the college, and so it makes predictability tough on the admissions front.</p>

<p>Finally, I do think in the next 2-3 years, Chicago admissions will settle down. Once they can consistently get around 20-22K students applying (maybe 5K early, 15K RD), Chicago will lay back a bit on aggressive outreach. I don't think Chicago's admissions office has the resources or reach of a Stanford or Yale to aggressively pursue around 30K applications a year. </p>

<p>I think the goal would be to have, consistently, around a 12-15% overall accept rate, and a stronger yield. I'm hoping that Nondorf's first year is also the first year of some stability and increased predictability in Chicago's admissions. Finally, I do think the increased EA accept rate, in comparison to a much lower RD accept rate, will hold true. For virtually all colleges today, it's an advantage to apply early. Chicago used to be an outlier on this front, and I think the U of C has begun to fall in line.</p>

<p>Btw, just to speculate, I think your take on the EA deferrals would probably be accurate. I'd say probably 55% of the EA pool got deferred, meaning there are around 3200 applicants that are pushed back to the RD cycle. Also, from what I've heard, RD applications are up, albeit not in the booming way that EA apps were up. Being conservative, if RD apps were up around 10%, that means there are a total of around 14200 apps being considered for the RD round. Assuming your 38% yield for the RD admits, and seeing we would need to fill around 650 seats to fill out the class, that would indeed mean about 1700 admits out of the 14200 total RD apps. That'd turn out to around a 11-12% RD accept rate. YIKES. </p>

<p>That's right around in the same ballpark as Columbia and Brown, and I think significantly lower than the RD accept rates at Northwestern (maybe a 20% RD accept rate), Johns Hopkins (maybe around a 20% RD accept rate), and Cornell (maybe a 18-20% RD accept rate). How did Chicago change so quickly?!</p>

<p>In terms of perceived selectivity, we're literally talking about Chicago going from the top 25 in selectivity to the top dozen, almost overnight.</p>

<p>For this upcoming year, I'd see the selectivity rank (with rough projected overall accept rates based on what should be a slightly tougher year across the board) as something roughly like this:</p>

<p>Harvard (8%)
Yale (8%)
Princeton (9%)
Stanford (9%)
MIT (11%)
Cal Tech (16%)</p>

<p>Columbia (10%)
Brown (11%)
Dartmouth (13%)
Penn (17%)
Chicago (18%)
Georgetown (18%)
Cornell (19%)
Duke (20%)</p>

<p>Wash U (21%)
Rice (22%)
Northwestern (24%)
Hopkins (24%)
Emory (25%)
Vanderbilt (25%)
Notre Dame (25%).</p>

<p>Traditionally, Chicago was more in like with an Emory or Vanderbilt in terms of the blunt selectivity numbers. Now, it's jumped up a band to being closer to a Dartmouth or so. </p>

<p>It sort of makes you wonder. Selectivity, alum giving rate, and retention have traditionally been the achilles heel for Chicago in the rankings. If all of a sudden selectivity goes from a top 25 rank to a top 12 rank, and retention rate and alum giving continue to rise, what will happen? Chicago would then have no numerical deficiencies in competition with its peer schools (whereas traditionally, Chicago did great for Academic rep, poor for selectivity etc.) Nondorf's hiring could then neatly coincide with a nice bump for the U of C in the all-important rankings. If Chicago ends up at #5 in the rankings 3 years from now, and we're getting 22K apps, I wonder if Nondorf gets some sort of performance bonus?</p>

<p>He might get the South Campus named after him. :)
Thank Cue for being so thorough and informative.</p>

<p>Hyeonjlee: most importantly, why were you awake on CC at 4:22 in the morning??? jk, we have been having sleeping issues here this week also.....</p>


<p>Ha ha. Very observant. I am in a different time zone.</p>


<p>So, you and I are coming up with the same 11-12% acceptance rate for the RD round when we roll back the EA deferrals into the pool. </p>

<p>For an unrestricted EA to have this type of an acceptance rate boost (28% vs 12%) is simply unsustainable. Even if we assume that the EA pool is stronger, I just can't imagine it's stronger to the degree that it justifies this level of disparity. </p>

<p>I feel really bad for the class of 2014 Chicago RD applicants. I bet a lot of them looked at last year's stats (5% difference in acceptance rate), and figured there is no huge penalty of not applying EA to Chicago and built their application strategy accordingly. Now, they get slapped in their face!</p>

<p>Well, at least next year's pool will in forewarned. My S2 is not in the running for a school like Chicago, but when I track the potential schools for him for the next year's battle, I see some really sobering changes in the admission scene - something similar to this. The kind of changes that will not show up on their official web site or anything like that, but the kind of things they are doing quietly that completely change the dynamics between the early application and the regular round and reward those who diligently studied the battle scene and correctly guessed the other party's moves, not based on their words, but based on their action. </p>

<p>The more I learn, the clearer it becomes how much of all this is really gaming the system (on both ends - schools and students), rather than a system that is predominantly guided by the meritocracy.</p>

<p>How S1 got into a terrific school when all of us were completely ignoramus is beyond me. We were all so lucky last year. S2 is benefiting from the fact that I learned all this in time. I can see now what a real disadvantage it is for the kids not to have adult involvement in drafting the best plan for the college admission: I don't think HS guidance counselors in most public schools spend this amount of time coming up with the best strategy for a particular set of schools for a particular kid.</p>

<p>Hyeonjlee -unfortunately, your realization that elite college admissions is NOT a meritocracy is a hard but CRUCIAL lesson to learn. When advising people about college admissions, I always try to emphasize that admissions is absolutely NOT a true meritocracy. The process heavily favors the wealthy and the well connected, or those that are particularly good at kicking a ball or moving an oar. The intellectual merits of an applicant are oftentimes secondary, and give way to other, more all-important hooks (legacy status, sports ability, wealth of the family, etc.). </p>

<p>This being said, I think it's important to note that this isn't because schools have some sort of set agenda and actively TRY to make the system this way. Rather, these schools are behaving just as any rational, self-interested actor in this marketplace would. To capture as much funds, talents, and resources as possible, it makes the most sense to make certain risk-averse decisions and value efficiency in the admissions process. Accordingly, its much easier and cost-effective to recruit at fancy private schools, which already do such an outstanding job of packaging applicants in just the way elite colleges like. Heavy, aggressive, and diligent recruiting at good inner-city schools or looking for "diamonds in the rough" in poor, rural areas is simply not as effective an allocation of an office's resources. </p>

<p>Similarly, with funding and other resources being limited, does it make more sense to admit the smart - but not great private school applicant - whose father just happens to own the construction conglomerate charged with fulfilling a school's construction vision for 2020, or the hard working and smart son of immigrants whose parents are lab techs? From an institutional perspective, it makes much more sense to accept from the former group.</p>

<p>What interested me about Chicago is that, traditionally, the school did not seem as actively aware of the importance of power and wealth in the creation of a great american university. While Harvard and Princeton were completing impressive fundraising efforts in the early 1990s, Chicago took a heads-in-the-cloud approach. As Harvard etc. actively courted senators' sons and the offspring of Forbes 500 CEOs, Chicago seemed more interested in searching for intellectual talent, and accepting as many promising students as possible to get as many as it could. </p>

<p>What did this mean? When I went to school at Chicago in the late 90s, there was a conspicuous LACK of wealth and power on such a supposedly renown institution. Most of the students hailed from top public schools (Bronx Science in NYC, Masterman in Philadelphia, etc.), and the parents tended to NOT be all that wealthy or well connected. Many were, in fact, immigrants working as lab techs, adjunct professors at large public universities, teachers, some doctors and lawyers, but generally a great deal of generally middling lower-upper middle class (if you will) wealth. </p>

<p>I contrast this with the situation found at some of Chicago's peer schools at the time. Through my college years and beyond, I had the chance to become quite connected to a few other top schools, and, in comparison to the Browns or Dartmouths of the world, Chicago contained a conspicuous lack of wealth and power on campus. At a place like Brown, for example, I was astonished by the behind-the-scenes work of wealth and influence on campus. The students mostly came from the most coveted zip codes in the US, and the parents were oftentimes chiefs of surgery, partners at the most influential law firms, and oftentimes the sons and daughters of famous politicians or celebrities.</p>

<p>I don't think a place like Brown purposely looked to advantage the already advantaged. Rather, doing so was the easiest way to achieve institutional success. It was rational from an institutional perspective.</p>

<p>Similarly, I think in the past few years, Chicago has gone much more heavily in this direction. I'm an active interviewer for U of C, and in the past two years specifically, I'm surprised by the sorts of applicants I'm seeing. Traditionally, I would interview the extremely smart students from the top magnet or science-based high schools. Now, I'm seeing more and more applicants from the well-heeled private schools in the area, and these students are, indeed, more polished and professionally packaged. They've received more individualized instruction from over-qualified college counselors, and are generally coming from wealthier backgrounds. </p>

<p>I would think, as Chicago's popularity has risen for a variety of calculated reasons, that the student body has become significantly wealthier, and, to put it roughly, more well-heeled. Chicago is gradually gaining cache as a "bumper sticker" brand - the school that parents want to show off as bumper stickers on their cars as they drive through the wealthy northern Chicago suburbs or main line in Philadelphia. </p>

<p>Again, this isn't purposeful - but it just makes the most sense in terms of institutional health for Chicago to go this way. Years down the road, Chicago, like a Yale or Princeton, may then carefully allot a certain percentage of the class - say 10-12% - to be the "unbelievably promising less advantaged kids," those that have great stories to tell and show incredible promise. This 10%, though, will be lost amidst a sea of remarkable wealth and privilege.</p>

<p>For more info on Chicago's gaining relevance as a "bumper sticker" school, check out this article from a recent issue of time magazine about overbearing parents: </p>

<p>Helicopter</a> Parents: The Backlash Against Overparenting - TIME</p>

<p>In discussing the epidemic of overparenting, the Time mag writer states: "Nor is this phenomenon limited to ZIP codes where every Volvo wagon just has to have a University of Chicago sticker on it."</p>

<p>Trust me, 10 years ago, Chicago was not a bumper sticker school. As recently as 5 years ago, many considered Chicago be a backup to Penn or Duke, and a far away second in the city in terms of selectivity (behind Northwestern). </p>

<p>In just the past year, though, I'm seeing the U of C described in the media in new, sort of unprecedented ways. In the past, the NY Times or Time or whatever fixated on the ideas coming out of Chicago, either from the econ dept or from the strong science depts. Now, Chicago is making waves for its association with Obama, its plummeting acceptance rate, for the gentrification of Hyde Park, for its snazzy new $100 million arts center, etc.</p>

<p>Just like Brown following the 1960s to Penn's transformation in the early 2000s, Chicago seems to be becoming a more archetypal "hot" school. For the U of C's alumni, I think an apt title here would seem to be: "Revenge of the Nerds."</p>


<p>actually, I perfectly understand why Chicago, or for that matter any top college, does this, and I have no problems with it. After all, it's business. It's not a charity. If anything, from a business perspective, they should do all this and more to serve their institutional constituents which include current students, but not necessarily applicants.</p>

<p>What I did not realize before is how elaborate all this is, and I certainly did not understand the dynamics of it all. Mea Culpa. When my first son was going through the whole admission process last year, we simply did a very bad job in learning the rules of the game. Looking back, I am almost ashamed. I had never gone to a crucial business meeting or a mega $$$ sales talk without getting thoroughly prepared. Why did I NOT thoroughly learn the rules of the game for something as important as my kids' future prospect is simply beyond me in terms of my naivete and negligence: I looked at his perfect SAT and GPA, and knowing that as an individual he is one of the most intellectually gifted people I have ever met, I had "hey, HYP, here he comes" kind of an attitude.</p>

<p>Well, it really ended well: he is at a perfect school for him. But, it could have easily gone the other way with a disastrous outcome, all due to the fact that we were completely ignorant of the rules of the game.</p>

<p>On the other hand, now that S1 is part of the "establishment" ;) (meaning, a member of the embedded constituency), I applaud anything and everything U Chicago does to increase the fair market value of the diploma ;) beyond what we were originally getting last year. Buy low, sell high - works for me ;)</p>

<p>So hyeonjlee and cue7 - what are the rules of the game? What will you do differently next time? I was accepted early action at UChicago but never really had a strategy coming in to the application season. The only strategy I had was to get the best scores and grades I can possibly achieve and hope (hope and hope some more) that it would be enough. Luckiliy for me, it worked for UChicago which is one of my top 3 choices. My parents being immigrants were totally clueless about the application process, but wholeheartedly supported me, so I am a bit stumbling through the process. I have a couple of siblings though and I would like to help them maneuver through the process. Thanks for any input.</p>

<p>The only problem with your story, Cue7, is that I am morally certain that ten years ago, as now, Chicago was far more popular with academically-oriented private school kids in Philadelphia than with kids at Masterman. My older child's class at Chicago had exactly one kid -- her -- who had graduated from a public school here (not Masterman), and at least seven from Germantown Friends, Penn Charter, and St. Joe's. And she had been a private school kid for 11 years. A quarter of the kids in her 4th grade classroom wound up at Chicago (it was a vertical classroom, so that counts two graduating classes). None at Northwestern, which was definitely seen as a step down from Chicago at that school. My son's class does have a girl from Masterman.</p>

<p>One of my daughter's classmates who went to Chicago is the daughter of an important back-room mover and shaker here. There is another kid at Chicago now who is the granddaughter of an important Pennsylvania (and national) political figure. Lots of them are children of academics, though.</p>

<p>Ah ok hyeonjlee, fair enough. I'm sure you also feel bad for those other parents who, maybe like you initially, are going through this process a bit blind. Then it makes sense to lament the 12% RD rate in comparison to the 28% early rate.</p>

<p>Otherwise, though, it doesn't make much sense to feel bad about this. Chicago is sort of acting in a predictable way here. After a few years of significant change, I'd imagine the numbers 3-4 years from now don't look radically different from the numbers this year (maybe a 20% EA rate, a 10% RD accept rate). Chicago has more or less gone the traditional route for admissions.</p>


<p>As for you, the gaming phase is almost over. In my mind, the most important part of the game is to know which schools to apply to and when (ED/EA vs. RD). I assume you are almost done with the RD applications.</p>

<p>As for your siblings, it depends on which grade there are in and what kind of students they are (academically and otherwise). Without knowing this, it's really hard to say what's a good piece of advice. I suggest you spend some time and "eavesdropping" the dialog among the parents on the Parent Forum. There is tremendous amount of collective wisdom there.</p>

<p>JHS - yes I was just giving a few broad examples. Chicago generally does great with the more academically-oriented schools - places like Germantown Friends School, Indiana Math & Sciences Academy, etc. In the Phila high school circuit, which I know pretty well, I don't know if Chicago did a great job at places like Haverford School, Episcopal, Baldwin, CHA/Springside, etc. 10 years ago. In the past two years, however, I think Chicago has made strides at these sorts of places, primarily because, as discussed above and in other posts, Chicago has been increasing in its status value. </p>

<p>I think if you did a study on the background of Chicago students and the students at Brown, Dartmouth etc. ten years ago, there would be a significant disparity in background traits. There would be tons of representation of academic parents of Chicago students. Even when I think back to my circle of friends, nearly all of my friends' parents were in some way involved in academia, either as MD/PhDs, lab techs, teachers, professors, etc. </p>

<p>On the other hand, the Brown/Dartmouth parents were probably more older establishment types or those connected to more traditional avenues of power rather than academia. </p>

<p>I think today, as Zimmer looks to move Chicago away from being primarily an incubator of future academics to taking on the "best university, anywhere" model, the background of Chicago students is changing and broadening. You are probably still getting strong representation from the Germantown Friends academic background, but there are also rising numbers from the more prep background of places such as CHA or Haverford. </p>

<p>Finally, I think Zimmer's ultimate goal for Chicago (or what should be Zimmer's ultimate goal) is for Chicago to do all aspects of the work of a great research university well. This means producing top-notch future academics, superb future captains of industry, leaders in law and medicine, top financiers, devoted and innovative teachers and public servants, etc. In the past, Chicago did an absolutely outstanding job producing academics, but it fell behind in some of the other areas where places like Yale and Harvard excelled. (& Yale and Harvard still do a pretty good job of producing academics too.) Now, as the school broadens its mission, I think it will improve on a lot of fronts, and one of the ways to do this is to bring in a more varied, capable incoming class. Overall, I think Chicago is well on its way to doing this - it's always had the superb academic rep, now its broadening its horizons.</p>

<p>I am entirely in favor of producing leaders in all sectors, not just in academia. At the same time, I hope very much to see U Chicago keeping its focus on the life of the mind culture. I would like to see Chicago produce educated and intellectually grounded politicians, financiers, doctors, yes, even military leaders (horror!!!) and entertainers, in addition to the academicians. </p>

<p>Maybe, not knowing what he is doing, S did just the right thing when he went on and on talking about his vision for a phenomenal WS success using innovative financial engineering schemes in his main essay - may this put him in a category of much needed group of kids who will help them branch out of the mold over represented in the academia and under represented in other avenues of power ;) </p>

<p>If he had done that deliberately, that would have been one hell of smart gaming move: one step ahead of the customer and deliver on their understated/latent needs! Now, that's smart marketing/sales tactic. The reality though is he just used the same Common App essays for all school. Last year, after he submitted his EA application, and after I learned belatedly what U Chicago's motto was, I thought he sent in an essay that is going to give him a very tough time!!!</p>

<p>Humor aside, I really hope not to see the day when U Chicago decides to be just like other Ivies by creating huge sport scenes and encouraging proliferation of Greek chapters, etc. I believe this completely changes the overall personality of the school and the type of students it attracts.</p>

<p>^"Humor aside, I really hope not to see the day when U Chicago decides to be just like other Ivies by creating huge sport scenes and encouraging proliferation of Greek chapters, etc. I believe this completely changes the overall personality of the school and the type of students it attracts."</p>

<p>As a Yale grad, I'd like to correct what I believe to be a mischaracterization of the Ivies. There is neither a huge sports scene nor an abundance of Greek life at most Ivy League schools - certainly not at HYP. However, I do agree that Chicago's dedication to the life of the mind is second to none. Like you, hyeonjlee, I hope that this won't change - although, frankly, I can't imagine that it will.</p>

<p>Beatitudo - I think it varies from Ivy school to Ivy school, but all of these schools do seem to have a significantly greater emphasis on somewhat obscure sports. All of the ivies have competitive crew teams, lacrosse teams, many have squash and fencing teams, etc.</p>

<p>When I earlier mentioned an emphasis on sports, I meant more of an emphasis on sports PARTICIPATION rather than a particular sport having a rabid fan base. It's no secret that at many ivies - Yale included - athletes comprise a very high percentage of the student body.I believe Harvard has the biggest and most extensive DI sports program in America, with the most teams competing on the DI level. I just don't see Chicago going in this direction, yet its a hallmark of pretty much all the ivy schools.</p>

<p>Sorry, Cue, but your description simply doesn't jibe with my experience. There was no emphasis on sports participation at Yale when I was there; sports were simply one of the myriad things that you could become involved with, if you happened to be interested. Jocks were simply not a large presence on campus. </p>

<p>In fact, I'd almost say the opposite of what was suggested above: there isn't a strong focus on sports in the Ivy League. This is especially true in comparison to places like Duke and Georgetown... never mind the Big 10. It's possible that sports are even less important at Chicago, but I don't imagine that the difference is very significant.</p>