Four years ago, Princeton and Harvard ended their early admission programs, in an effort to delay the beginning of the annual frenzy of applicants to secure a precious seat in the next freshman class. But when none of its main competitors followed suit, both institutions announced in February that they would once again offer applicants an opportunity to apply for admission in November, two months before the deadline for regular applications.
While it is too soon to know what impact the return of Harvard and Princeton to the early fray has had on other schools’ applications — both institutions bar its early applicants from applying early to any other private college — a Princeton spokesman told The Choice Tuesday night that 3,547 students had applied by last week’s deadline through its “single-choice early action” program.
To put that figure in perspective, it is nearly triple the size of the entire freshman class. (In contrast to the prior early admission program at Princeton, this one is not binding on those who are accepted; they can apply to any other universities through their regular decision process, and take until May 1 to make a decision.)