University of North Carolina Drops Early Decision Admissions Plan
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.
The University of North Carolina is dropping its early decision admissions program, becoming the first major U.S. university to end the increasingly controversial policy, officials said.
“Carolina has taken this step because we believe it will best serve our future students and their families,” Chancellor James Moeser said last month.
The practice allows students to get a quick response from their first-choice college in exchange for a promise to attend if admitted. Early admission was first used in the 1950s by elite colleges, but the practice spread about a decade ago. Now more than 400 colleges and universities invite high school seniors to apply ahead of the crowd, a College Board survey found.
Critics claim the policy can force teen-agers into premature decisions and can give unfair advantage to those with money and admissions know-how. Some schools avoid that pitfall by offering a nonbinding “early action” program. Defenders call early admission efficient. They say problems occur only when it is used to fill too many slots.
At the University of North Carolina, the school’s early admission program allowed students who applied by Oct. 15 to be notified about their status by Dec. 3.
“We’ve observed growing pressure on students to choose colleges earlier simply because they believe it is their best chance to get in, without the benefit of the considerable maturation that takes place in the senior year of high school,” says Jerome Lucido, vice provost for enrollment management and director of admissions.
The university had dropped binding early decision in the early 1970s and resumed the practice for freshmen applying for admission in fall 2000.
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com