Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Harvard Ends Early Action

Special to The Hoya Friday, September 15, 2006

In a move that may cause Georgetown and other universities to revisit their admission policies, Harvard University announced this week that it will eliminate its early action program starting next year. Derek Bok, Harvard’s interim president, said Tuesday in a press release that early admission programs favor students from privileged backgrounds, leaving lower-income and minority students behind. He added that binding early admissions programs do not allow students in need of financial aid to compare offers from multiple schools. “The college admissions process has become too pressured, too complex and too vulnerable to public cynicism,” Bok said. “We hope that doing away with early admission will improve the process and make it simpler and fairer.” Georgetown’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon said that he does not anticipate any changes to the university’s early admission program, but will be “keeping an open mind.”In anything like this, there’s going to be a lot of discussion,” he said. “We would be foolish to put our heads in the sand” Deacon said that the fate of Georgetown’s early action program may depend on the effects of Harvard’s decision. “We will study the reaction to their decision, but think it is unlikely we will feel the need to change.” Deacon said that Georgetown’s early action program is not plagued by the problems that Bok cited because it is non-binding and allows applicants to apply to other early action programs. Because Georgetown’s early admission acceptance rate is identical to its regular decision rate, Deacon said that the university’s early action program does not disadvantage certain prospective students. According to the press release, Harvard will delay the elimination of its early admission program until 2007 so that other universities have time to follow suit. “Harvard seems to be aggressively asking other schools to follow,” Deacon said. Several universities, however, have already said that they do not anticipate changing their programs. Richard Levin, president of Yale University, said in a press release Tuesday that the university would continue its early action, single-choice program.

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