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Articles / Applying to College / Early Decision Vs. Regular Decision Acceptance Rates at Claremont McKenna College

Nov. 2, 2010

Early Decision Vs. Regular Decision Acceptance Rates at Claremont McKenna College

Question: What is the Early Decision acceptance at Claremont McKenna College and is it significantly different from Regular Decision?

"The Dean" doesn't have any current official Early Decision stats for Claremont McKenna. (I looked on their "Common Data Set" for 2009-10 and that space was blank.) But according to a list published in U.S. News & World Report in the fall of 2009, the overall acceptance rate at CMC is about 19% and the ED rate is nearly 28% See http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/2009/09/30/colleges-where-applying-early-decision-helps.html


Many admission insiders argue that the significant difference between ED and Regular Decision admission rates is due to the fact that ED applicants are often the best organized and strongest candidates. While this theory may be valid to some extent, it's also true that colleges tend to operate on the old "bird in hand" theory. That is, when admission folks see a reasonably impressive candidate who is willing to make a binding commitment to their school, they realize it makes sense to grab this applicant right away rather than hoping that someone better will come along in the spring.

In particular, schools like Claremont McKenna, which are top colleges but not as universally well known as the Ivies and a handful of other places likes Stanford, MIT, and Duke, are especially delighted when an ED application sends a message that proclaims, "You're my Number One, and not just the place I'll go if I get bad news from Brown." For instance, in the same U.S. News story cited above, you'll see that the Grinnell ED rate soars to 68.5% from 43%; Franklin & Marshall goes from 35.9 to 70.4; and Wheaton (MA) from 38.8 to 85.6.

Note also that a growing number of colleges, including Claremont McKenna, offer two rounds of Early Decision. Typically the first will have a deadline in November and the second in early January. I assume that most ED statistics will lump together the acceptance rates for both.

Although there are certainly pros and cons to applying via ED, I do feel that the boost in acceptance odds coupled with the opportunity to enjoy a more stress-free senior year are both compelling reasons for many high school students to consider ED.

(posted 11/02/10)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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