The University of Virginia dropped early decision in 2006 stating that it presented an advantage to its privileged applicants rather than all applicants as they had intended. Virginia has now announced that they are going to start an early action program.
As most of my readers know, early action is not binding and students have a choice of which college to attend once all of their admission decisions are in. However, many early action programs, even non-binding ones like early action, still are most attractive to affluent students who have the resources to understand the various application options.
I personally have no problem with early action programs so students can find out early in the year whether they have an acceptance. However, these programs are not well understood by less affluent students so the advantage that exists if for a limited group of students.
It will be interesting to see if any other colleges that previously dropped an early program decide to re-institute some type of early application.