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March 29, 2007

College Acceptance Rates & Early Action

by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math

The news that UMass-Cambridge has a record low acceptance rate of 9% isn't that terrible. As the ABC article details, the school could fill its incoming class valedectorians, and come close to filling it with students who scored 1600 on the non-writing portions of the SAT. Most of the high schoolers who applied will do just fine whereve they end up. And acceptance rates for the top three or four schools has hovered around 10% for a while.

But of course, the more important number for those getting mail today is the acceptance rate for regular admission applicants (anecdotally, deferred applicants don't get in at the regular deadline very often). In the class of '10 (currently freshmen), Harvard offered admission to 804 early action applicants and 2109 overall, resulting in an acceptance rate just under 7% for the 20,000 who applied in January. Next year, when Harvard eliminates its Early Action/Decision program, spring applicants will be slightly better off, and the November applicants who enjoyed a 20% acceptance rate will now be in a much larger pool.

March 29, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

there seems to be quite a bit of media coverage lately about ditching these top caliber schools and their rankings/insane admissions process, for schools "better suited to the student."

for example, the ACT goes up every single year at minnesota and wisconsin -- both schools that have traditionally served both the underprivileged and their own state's residents. they are now both gunning to be top research institutions.

i'm hoping this rankings and admissions game stops sometime soon, so these schools get back to serving state residents, rather than themselves and US News.

Posted by: yep | Mar 29, 2007 7:59:05 PM

The Ivy League is making some headway into enrolling more low income students. The end of early decision/action and the grant based aid for families earning under 40K certainly helps. I am sure when all the data is in though, you will still see admit classes that are 75% from families in the top income quintile.

Doesn't everyone already know that it is more difficult to gain admission to H than it is to graduate from H?
The mean is apparently at 3.5 in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Posted by: Eli | Mar 29, 2007 8:05:13 PM

I'm looking into an MBA right now and, the way things are going, I'm not even going to consider the Ivy League. It's just not worth it anymore.

Posted by: Thomas | Mar 30, 2007 2:14:16 AM

This is pretty terrible logic.

That spring applicants will be better off without EA/ED assumes that the spring and november applicant pools are of equal quality. This assumption is dubious.

Posted by: Evan | Mar 30, 2007 2:23:49 AM

Ending early decision is a horrible idea and will degrade the quality of the admits and therefore the university as a whole. Low income strivers add nothing to the university while adversely effecting the curve. The Ivies true purpose is to cultivate gentlemen. The next batch of merchants and clerks can enroll in those state colleges.

Posted by: Biff Trustfund | Mar 30, 2007 3:44:58 AM

UMass-Cambridge?

Doesn't exist

Posted by: frank | Mar 30, 2007 6:56:14 AM

UMass-Cambridge?

Doesn't exist

Frank, it's near the Middlesex County Community Technical School - look it up.

Posted by: aa | Mar 30, 2007 9:32:03 AM

> there seems to be quite a bit of media coverage
> lately about ditching these top caliber schools
> and their rankings/insane admissions process,
> for schools "better suited to the student."

Yeah, the upper/elite class floats that meme every 5 years or so, and some of the upper-middle and middle-middle class actually buy into it. Then the upper class sends their children to the top schools anyway for networking and marriage which have been their primary purpose since 1920 at least.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer | Mar 30, 2007 9:37:36 AM


Frank, it's near the Middlesex County Community Technical School - look it up.

I usually just think of that as Mass Tech, which has the added virtue of being correct, in some sense.

Posted by: Sam TH | Mar 30, 2007 9:45:45 AM

Harvard’s endowment stood at over $29 billion at the end of 2006. It earned over $4.3 billion in investment return. Yet it spent only $930 million on the university –22%, less than the tax advantage it gains from being a charity.

Harvard has under 20,000 undergrad and grad students. If each one paid $40,000 cash per year – no financial aid, no fellowships – Harvard could collect more than $800 million in tuition. If in 2006 it charged zero for tuition, and used endowment returns instead, its endowment still would have grown by more than $2.5 billion. But this year it increased tuition by 6%.

So you have to understand that Harvard is really an investment fund attached to university for tax purposes. And why does it keep raising tuition? Why does it charge tuition at all? For two reasons: to keep out the riffraff, and because it can.

Posted by: bloix | Mar 30, 2007 10:59:05 AM

I am not a big fan of the admissions "rat race", or at least the fact that it still gets longer and longer, which is why I like the cancelling of EA/ED, since it at least shortens the rat race by a few months.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Mar 30, 2007 10:59:11 AM

http://www.massachusetts.edu/institutions/institutions.html

The University of Massachusetts Campuses:

Each year the University of Massachusetts educates nearly 60,000 students and confers more than 11,000 degrees at its five campuses located in:

Amherst
Boston
Dartmouth
Lowell
and Worcester.

Posted by: Frank | Mar 30, 2007 12:01:26 PM

Frank, it's on the Red Line in between Porter Square and Central Square.

Pretty soon they will have to rename it UMass-Cambridge/Alston.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Mar 30, 2007 12:48:12 PM

Here's another clue, UMass-Cambridge is in the same conference as SUNY Ithaca and SUNY Harlem.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Mar 30, 2007 12:49:15 PM

Interestingly only three of seven colleges at SUNY Ithaca are state supported.

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Posted by: judy | Sep 27, 2007 2:52:10 AM

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