Monday, May 19, 2014

National Trend #2 - Early vs. Regular

My colleagues and I are not only fascinated by the totality of admission numbers - total applications, total admits, total wait listed, and total yields.

We are also intrigued by the dualities within highly selective admissions.

Specifically, the duality between early admissions versus regular admissions.

For some schools, the gap between early and regular admissions is widening.

Take Harvard, for example.

Harvard took a fairly liberal portion from the early admission bucket.

11% more, in fact, than last year.

Regular admission admits remained fairly static...and bleak.

But then take Harvard's admissions rival.


Stanford took a more conservative number from their early admission bucket.

Here the gap between early and regular admissions isn't as acute.

Harvard admits more.

Stanford less.

This is an example of how it is getting harder to use traditional models and metrics to predict outcomes.

My colleague Patrick O' Connor underscores this reality in his article in the Huffington Post, and helps us understand that students must "expand their horizons" and create an "A list" and "B list" set of schools.

It feels analogously that highly selective admissions has become the equivalent of the Kentucky Derby.

The best of the best racing against each other for a better national students look at the odds and place your bets!

One of my top students this year bet on Harvard.  She bet on the right horse. 

I had others that bet on other horses...and some won...others lost.

The analogy is not my favorite one, but it feels like that is the reality of highly selective admissions today.

What analogy might you use to describe this trend within the glut of absurd admission statistics?