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Early Admissions Trends Class of 2021

This is proving to be an interesting early admissions round. Many schools have received record high applications in the early decision pool. We are assessing college’s released early stats on the hour.

Some of our observations on early admissions trends for the Class of 2021 so far:

More students are applying in the early round than ever before:

  • Princeton reported an 18% rise in early applications.

  • Dartmouth is up 3.7% in early apps since they started ED in 2006. They received a record 1,999 early applications.

  • Cornell reported a 10% increase in early applications with 5,384 received.

  • Columbia reported a 16% increase in early applications with 4,086 received.

  • Duke received 3,516 early applications.

  • Stanford opted not to release their early numbers in a unique and unusual move.

Note the following Class of 2021 early round acceptance rates at some top schools so far:

Several top early action schools have pushed their calendar later:

  • UNC and UVA are releasing decisions after Jan. 1 and UChicago and UMichigan JUST released –we assume this is so that kids who get into ED schools will let them know and rescind their applications.
    • For these early action schools, this helps them ensure their yield will be better, meaning they are sick of losing kids to the SCEA schools or to top ED schools so by moving their date to AFTER those schools announce their ED dates, students will have to (because of ED policies) withdraw from the EA school before they even hear if they get in. That way, these students don’t turn down the EA school. Yield data is protected. Sneaky!

More non-college background kids (AKA 1st generation applicants) are getting a hook in the early round.

  • This means more are applying and the college marketing to these students is working.

Civic involvement matters.

  • Local initiatives and taking action on a local level vs just presenting to colleges with high scores and math contests can have a big impact. The student who lobbied for more rights for the hearing impaired AND presented top scores and GPA/rank stood out much more than the student who was a member of 6 random clubs with limited activity or top scores and GPA/rank.

Asian and Indian students still face tougher odds given the increased number of first generation college students, minority admit and international applicants.

The pool is still over saturated with math-science students. Students with a strong humanities side do better overall.

At the Ivies, most of the class is consumed with hooked students.

  • Of the accepted students in the early round at Harvard this year, 12.6 percent were African American, 8.8 percent Latino, and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians represented 1.1 percent. 8.7 percent were first generation college students.
    • And, we would guess, based on prior years, that at least 15-20 percent were recruited athletes. Legacies are between 10-15 percent depending on the school as well. This makes up the majority of the early accepted pool.
  • Harvard took many from Research Science Institute (RSI, the competitive high school science program at MIT) plus other students with top awards such as Coolidge winners, TASP students, etc. Then, there are the hooked VIP students who had famous and very generous parents.
  • You can see there were few slots left for just all out strong applicants with perfect scores, #1 in their class, etc.

 It’s an exciting time of year for seniors! We’ll continue to monitor the early stats as more are released daily!

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