I was just reading an article in the Yale Daily News about the admission rates at Yale this year. What struck me, beside the absurdly low admit rates, is that the admission rates we often talk about are really misleading.
It has been widely reported that Yale’s admission rate this year was 7.5%. I have intentionally not been reporting many of the admission rates this year because the low rates often do nothing but cause additional panic for those students who will be applying to college in the next few years. But I find that I do need to address these low admission rates for a different reason.
So, why are the admission rates misleading? While Yale’s overall admission rate was 7.5%, the admission rate for those students who applied early action was 13.4% while those students who applied regular decision had an admission rate of 5.4%. In other words, those students who applied early had two and a half times better chance of admission to Yale than those students who waited.
This disparity of admissions between early applicants and regular applicants exists at most of the highly selective colleges in this country. While there have been reports in the past on the advantage gained by early decision applications, there has been less discussion of the advantages in admissions posed by early action applications.
I am confident that if the other highly selective colleges that use early action disclosed the percentage of admissions from early action compared to regular decision, the numbers would mirror those disclosed by Yale.
These numbers further illustrate why the decision of when to apply is so critical, particularly for those students applying to the highly selective colleges. For further information, here is an article I wrote describing the advantages and disadvantages of early decision, early action and regular decision