Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Early Decision I applications edge down

The application numbers for Early Decision I, which had a November 15 deadline, are in. This year there are about 100 applications. This is on the low-end of the average range of Early Decision I applicants for the past few years, which has been between 90 and 140 applicants. A much smaller pool of between 40 and 80 applicants is expected for Early Decision II, which is due on January 1.

Unlike colleges on the east coast such as Duke University or Yale University, where early decision applicant numbers run in the thousands and the admitted students fill half the incoming class, a maximum of a quarter of each Whitman class is made up of early decision applicants.

Of the early decision applicant pool, typically about 60 to 70 percent of them are admitted to Whitman, as opposed to about 46 percent who were admitted from regular decision last year.

“Historically, students who have applied early decision perform slightly better academically, and have better retention and graduation rates,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Tony Cabasco.

In 2008, Whitman Early Decision I applications hit a peak of about 140. The 110 applicantions from 2009 and 100 this year show a slight downward curve. This could be because of the recession, but Cabasco says these numbers are within the range for the past few years.

One concern about early decision is the binding contract to accept. According to Cabasco, the Office of Admission “want[s] this to be a well considered, thoughtful decision. It reflects you are a thoughtful person about the college search, thus, a good member of Whitman community.”

Annie Sing, a high school senior from Olympia, Wash., like many seniors, takes this into account.

“I’m not sure if Whitman is my for sure number one,” she says. “I don’t want to risk being bound to a school if I’m not positive.”

With the contract, an early decision applicant is committing to enroll except for financial hardship.

“It’s good that that clause is in there,” says first-year and early decision applicant Julian Hayward. “That way, students aren’t committed before they know if they can afford it.”

The Early Decision I applications are currently in the reading process. Offers of admission will be mailed right before Whitman gets out for winter break and arrive around December 18.

“For many, it’s a great Christmas present,” said Cabasco. “It’s the peace of mind, that’s the great advantage.”

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