|By Marylander on Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - 09:29 pm: Edit|
How did everyone's EDers do with their applications this year? Did teachers, counselors, and school secretaries come through on time? Any horror stories to share (afterall, it's Halloween)? :-)
|By MrBill on Thursday, November 08, 2001 - 11:02 am: Edit|
Some ED deadlines are apparently being extended. I wonder how many ED applications are sitting in a post office warehouse somewhere waiting to be decontaminated? Probably not a coincidence that Princeton (in NJ!) was one of the extenders.
|By George Meany on Monday, November 12, 2001 - 08:27 pm: Edit|
Princeton University has set the pace, in my view, for a very reasonable attitude regarding possible postal problems and late applications. I stumbled across this today.
|By Dadster on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 11:24 am: Edit|
Sounds like ED notifications were sent in a timely manner, even by New Jersey-based Princeton.
|By Dadster on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 09:37 am: Edit|
Early Decision really is getting hammered in the general press. I saw an AP article yesterday that reiterated the usual "con" arguments about why Early Decision is bad for students and families. I couldn't find a link for it, but if I do, I'll stick it up here.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 10:14 pm: Edit|
Articles from the September 2001 issue of Atlantic Monthly are available on-line. Anyone who has not yet read the James Fallows article "The Early Decision Racket," I highly recommend that you add it to your "required reading" list (esp if you are new to the college admissions game).
There is also an excellent companion piece by Caitlin Flanagan entitled, "Confessions of a Prep School College Counselor."
I provided both of these articles to my younger son's GC, who is brand-new to the world of college counseling.
Back to the issue of ED, though. Here is a link to selected audio excerpts from "The Battle Over Early Decision," a special on ED broadcast on 1/03/02 by ~The Connection~, a npr affiliate in Boston (I think). Speakers include Rick Levin from Yale, Bill Fitzsimmons from Harvard, and the afore-mentioned Atlantic Monthly author James Fallows.
I read the two articles back in September; I wasn't as active on the board at that time so I don't know if they have already been a topic of discussion here. I haven't had time to listen to all the excerpts yet. Look forward to exchanging thoughts.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
Wow! I finally had time to tune into The Connection ED program. Selected excerpts are highlighted but by clicking on the first item, I heard the entire program. Joining the listed speakers: Ann McGrath from US News (Special Projects Editor); a college counselor form a Newton,MA high school; Dean of Admissions from Clark University; plus several phone calls.
BTW, The Connection IS out of Boston; Boston University to be exact. This is the first time I've linked on to one of their programs -- I don't know how long the audio clips are made available.
|By Dadster on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 06:17 pm: Edit|
Everyone says what a bad thing ED is, but does anyone detect any inclination for schools to reduce their reliance on ED?
|By George Meany on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 07:37 pm: Edit|
Hell, no! ED stacks the deck 100% in favor of the colleges and they're not gonna kill THAT cash cow any day soon. You can bet your B.A. on that.
|By Dadster on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 12:21 pm: Edit|
You are probably right, George. Unfortunately, early decision is almost completely positive for the school - no major negatives that I can think of.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 11:57 pm: Edit|
When I listened to the broadcast, one thing Levin said really jumped out at me. He was talking about the desirability of getting a discussion going about new ED guidelines with other "power schools" (my term) but made some sort of comment about having to avoid charges of anti-trust collusion. (I don't quite recall how he stated it) BUT, it immediately made me think of that finaid agreement that all those schools recently agreed to.
|By Dave Berry on Friday, January 11, 2002 - 08:38 am: Edit|
Here's a good article, Early decision fills 45 percent of 2006, from today's Daily Princetonian that recaps Princeton's and some other Ivies' ED/EA stats from December. It's not hard to read between the lines. I have to agree with Mr. Meany, above. There's no way these schools are going to give up on a sure thing like ED. As long as they offer it, kids will apply in huge numbers.
|By Dadster on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 12:00 pm: Edit|
It's really kind of a rat race that's difficult for a school to escape. Any college that admitted many fewer ED candidates would see its selectivity numbers fall vs. its competitor schools. This could start a spiral of lower rankings, fewer apps, still lower selectivity, etc. It would take a very gutsy admissions director (or college president) to make that call. Probably the only way to make something like that happen would be a multi-school agreement.
On the other hand, with schools hitting 50% ED admits, how long will it be before we see 70%? Of course, we probably won't see 100% ED admission at any school - not because it's a bad idea, but because they need that large pool of RD applicants to keep their numbers high.
|By Roger (Roger) on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 11:22 am: Edit|
Could Beloit College be the first chink in the armor of entrenched early decision programs? An article today, 'Early decision' gets a rejection notice reports that Beloit is dropping ED, citing many of the concerns expressed here.
A cynic might wonder if Beloit's miniscule ED numbers are the real reason for the switch, since the school gets only about 20 early decision applicants a year... if nothing else, though, this move should add some fuel to the ED debate.
|By afl on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 02:42 pm: Edit|
A TRUE cynic (like me) also notes that this move not only makes a small ripple in the overall Beloit application pool, but also gives Beloit its 15 minutes of fame at a time when ED is under fire in the public eye.
Beloit is a good school that has fallen off a lot of admission-advisor radar screen in recent years. This PR should help put it back up there, although I think the decision would have been better timed for the fall. Thoughts now are too focused on all those fat and thin envelopes arriving in the days ahead.
|By burningman on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 12:27 pm: Edit|
How courageous - Beloit's giving up the opportunity to lock in a dozen ED applicants - there goes their selectivity!
|By Dadster on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 09:14 am: Edit|
I think any change in ED practices at Ivy League schools and similar elites would take some kind of multi-school agreement. It could resemble the 28 school deal for financial aid. I didn't like the aid deal, since it disadvantages families. An ED deal, though, might be good for kids if it significantly reduced the pressure to apply ED. If a school that was taking 40% ED, for example, dropped that to 10%, it would make the ED pool much MORE competitive than RD. Of course, the number of ED applicants would fall, but I think overall the effect would be to only attract ED applicants who were really sold on the school. The current group of ED applicants who are picking an ED school purely to maximize admissions chances would most likely abandon this strategy.
Of course, it's a dynamic environment - as the number of ED applicants dropped, the ED pool would probably get less competitive. This might then open the door for some game-theory-driven applicants to start applying ED again. Perhaps the only sure solution would be to eliminate ED in favor of EA or no early apps at all - not very likely, IMO.
|By AFL on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 11:34 am: Edit|
It's certainly fashionable to criticize ED programs these days and--in many respects--they deserve it. However, as an ED survivor myself (though, admittedly, the Statute of Limitations is way up on that one), I do see pluses to the program and don't advocate its complete elimination.
The REAL culprit, I think, is U.S. News and its notorious rankings. After all, one key reason that colleges--even the snazziest ones--are taking such large chunks of each class via Early Decision is because this boosts their "yield" statistics (the percentage of students who say yes to an offer of admission) as well as their perceived selectivity (they can take fewer students each spring due to that high yield in the fall). Good yield and selectivity stats mean a potentially higher U.S. News rung.
Of course, I can't suggest that U.S. News discontinue their rankings issue because it's become their big money-maker. BUT, what I do propose is that they completely revamp what they rank and the information they provide.
For instance, instead of--in any given year--proclaiming that Amherst beat out Williams--or Williams beat out Swarthmore--for the #1 small-college slot, why not list completely different factors: unusual academic or co-curricular programs, unique facilities, special merit-aid options, etc.?
As a parent of a college-bound student (okay, my kid hasn't hit kindergarten yet, but he'll probably get to college some day, and you parents of older children realize just how fast it all goes), I would rather know that Syracuse has a 5-year architecture degree or that Smith pays every student to do an otherwise unpaid summer internship than to read (yet again) that Amherst or Williams or Princeton or Yale, etc. are top-tier schools. After all, you'd have to be nearly brain dead not to know that already.
The elimination of the rankings in their current incarnation would directly help to diffuse E.D.-mania and, moreover, might provide information to parents and students that they could actually use.
|By Dave Berry on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 12:41 pm: Edit|
Excellent analysis, AFL. Now all we need to do is find a way to gather some higher education luminaries and publish our own rankings.
Obviously, others have tried to do their own rankings before (Gourman and Princeton Review come to mind immediately), but it seems as though the people who could really do the job "right," as you suggest, are too busy running the colleges.
Insider-generated rankings might be something to think about. Are any publishers out there reading this? How about a big advance?
|By AFL on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 01:07 pm: Edit|
Sounds like the seeds of a collaboration are being sown. But do we call the fruit of our labor the D.B.-A.F.L. college rankings or the A.F.L.-D.B. report?
And BTW, Dave, I thought that you ARE a higher education luminary ... (?)
|By Dave Berry on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 02:00 pm: Edit|
Luminary? Me? Well, I have been recognized for my dim-wattedness at times. Just recently, however, I have seen the light on some issues and have pledged to become a shining example of my kind.
What to call it? Since I'm a passionate word nut, I thought I'd see what kind of title one might get from the letters in "DB-AFL Luminaries." After an exhaustive review, I've decided that the opus should be called the "Familiar Bundles" Report.
I can see it now on college Websites across the land: Blinking banners flashing forth such accolades as: "Familiar Bundles Ranks Smith #1 in the East!" Now THAT'S something to shoot for.
|By I.M.A. Parent on Monday, April 01, 2002 - 02:50 pm: Edit|
While I am a ususal worshipper at the altar of cynicism, several comments above just don't ring very true on the ED program drop by Beloit.
The press release from the school was very clear about its reasons for dropping this application approach, cites the 'outdated' assumptions that helped ED once appear to be a "positive" device and become instituted. And now some of these assumptions are not as viable. And possibility for abuse (rating gain) is at least quite suspect.
Most of all, the Beloit release points to Early Action availability provided by the school, and this approach allows the student the benefit of ED without the 'must attend' restriction. And, in some contrast to statements above, application to Beloit has increased under this offer (however, apps are apparently up everywhere in any case).
Examine the Early Action availabilty point in the greater, and I believe inferred, context of this decision and its announcement. Take the (for what the ranking is worth) US News top tier LACS. Beloit and only 7 other schools offer Early Action (5 of the 8 also being Pope suggested schools -- no coincidence I think). All these eight reside in the bottom half of the draw, and I don't think any/many think they are going to pole-vault into the upper bracket fooling around with ED and "yield." These, along with Beloit, are: Colorado College, Bard, DePauw, Centre, Dickinson, Lawrence and Wabash. Not exactly yield wars territory.
Beloit now joins CC and Bard in only offering an EA option. There are some inferences one can easily make about those two latter schools as well as for why ED might be actually detrimental in their respective internal admissions outlooks. I can suspect some internal contradictions are existant for Beloit, with its smaller student population.
Then there remain 43 other institutions. All offer ED and no EA option. Who is making progress here for their applicants, Beloit and said company, or the rest?
By the way, I agree Familiar Bundles is better than "Lamebrain Fluids" or "Sinful, Admirable"... but the "Fair Sublime Land" College Ratings Report might do nicely as well... thanks to AG on this
|By Tallulah on Monday, April 01, 2002 - 04:44 pm: Edit|
>>For instance, instead of--in any given year--proclaiming that Amherst beat out Williams--or Williams beat out Swarthmore--for the #1 small-college slot, why not list completely different factors: unusual academic or co-curricular programs, unique facilities, special merit-aid options, etc.?
AFL, just a guess but I don't think that the rankings come into play as much in cases of #1 vs. #2 vs. #3 as they do in comparisons of #7 vs. #22 vs #35, where there is likely to exist some real basis for the disparity.
Besides, there's no guarantee that unusual programs, unique facilities or financial incentives or discounts necessarily translate into contributions to overall quality. For example, some experimental programs (e.g. those devoid of structure) that had their heyday in the 60s and 70s are no longer touted if implemented at all. Novel approaches aren't automatically successful and don't deserve credit until proven.
Colleges may deserve an E for effort but for rankings, the proof is in the pudding. Positive innovations are probably reflected in the reputation scores anyway.
|By Dadster on Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 03:22 pm: Edit|
I think that people probably DO use the rankings as you suggest, Tallulah, although I think people love to see which college edged out another one for the top spot, whether their alma mater surpassed some rival college, etc.
The whole ranking process is flawed, IMO. The data collection US News does is great - it's good to know about endowment, SAT ranges, alumni loyalty, teaching ratios, class size, and all the other stuff they document. The process goes off the rails, though, when they start assigning numeric weights to each of these in order to come up with numeric rankings. At that point, it's just a ploy to sell magazines. In reality, for a particular student the #42 school might be far superior to the #6 college. (In fact, there's a new thread - Should students use SAT range to choose a college? - that suggests an anti-ranking strategy for students who may be not as prepared academically.)
|By Dave Berry on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 07:55 am: Edit|
Here's an interesting item from today's Chronicle of Higher Education update:
U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Abandons Early-Decision Admissions
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has decided to abandon its early-decision admissions policy beginning next year. In doing so, it will become the first major university in the United States to drop the common but controversial practice since debate about it intensified last fall.
Could this be the crack in the dike that leads to a flood of like decisions elsewhere?
|By AFL on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 04:34 pm: Edit|
Interesting, but I think the dike has to be in Cambridge or New Haven to cause the kind of flood you're talking about.
|By Dave Berry on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 06:21 pm: Edit|
How about in Northampton, AFL?
|By AFL on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 08:28 pm: Edit|
Dikes in this city? Sounds like you're trying to open the floodgates here, Dave, so I'm sand-bagging you.
|By highhopes on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 06:00 pm: Edit|
Check out the recent article (and another one from about a year and a half ago) in The Atlantic Monthly on ED. Seems Stanford and Yale are dropping it, too. But it is somehow right and proper that UNC-Chapel Hill did it first. ED has never been a very egalitarian proposition.
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