The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite

The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite
By Dr. Christopher Avery, Andrew Fairbanks and Dr. Richard Zeckhauser
Harvard University Press, 2004
389 pp., $16.95 ISBN: 067401620-3Each year, hundreds of thousands of high school seniors compete in a game they’ll play only once, whose rules they do not fully understand, yet whose consequences are enormous. The game is college admissions, and applying early to an elite school is one way to win. But the early admissions process is enigmatic and flawed. It can easily lead students toward hasty or misinformed decisions.

This book — based on the examination of more than 500,000 college applications to 14 elite colleges, and interviews with students, counselors and admissions officers — provides a thorough analysis of early admissions. It details the advantages and pitfalls of applying early as it provides a map for students and parents to navigate the process. Unlike college admissions guides, The Early Admissions Game reveals the realities of early applications, how they work and what effects they have. Applying early is not for everyone, but it will improve — sometimes double, even triple — the chances of being admitted to a prestigious college.

Dr. Christopher Avery is professor of public policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Andrew Fairbanks is former associate dean of admissions at Wesleyan University. Dr. Richard Zeckhauser is Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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