88 percent of seniors apply early to college

More students elected to apply early action to more schools than in past years though the number of students applying early decision has not varied greatly, according to Upper School Dean Beth Slattery.

The top 10 schools that students applied to the most  were early action except for the University of Pennsylvania.

Last year, early decision schools Brown, Columbia and Stanford made the list. Newcomers to the top 10 this year are the Harvard University, Boston College and Southern Methodist University.

Fearing that Hurricane Sandy would prevent students in the northeast with power outages from submitting on time, more than 70 schools extended their early application deadlines, including six schools in the top ten 10. The University of Chicago application is due tomorrow and Southern Methodist University’s application is due today.

About 88 percent of the senior class applied to at least one school either early action or early decision, Slattery said, a 16 percent increase from three years ago.

Students feel confident applying to nonbinding schools early because they do not have to make final decisions in October. Megan Ward ’13 applied to six early action schools: Georgetown, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, Tulane and University of Colorado, Boulder.

“I would rather apply to more schools early and know about half of my decisions than apply somewhere restricting and then have to worry more in April,” Ward said. “I just want peace of mind.”

“Every year, it’s ticked up. I only have one kid [in my dean group] that didn’t do some kind of early,” Dean Pete Silberman said. “Michigan has a lot to do with it. As [the process] has gotten more competitive, people use it to get a bird in hand.”

The University of Michigan had the most applications by far, according to Slattery.

“Almost everybody in the class feels like they have a shot,” Slattery said.

“You like to know you’re in somewhere and I would potentially go,” Marissa Chupack ’13 said. “Everyone I know that goes there likes it. I’m looking to major in creative writing and psychology and they have really good programs in both.”

Though the extended application deadlines were not meant for Californians unaffected by the hurricane in the northeast, students utilized the extra time to review and complete their applications.

“These extensions were not meant for our population,” Slattery said. “Kids here and in California should just submit their apps on time.”

“If they’re going to give me extra time, I’m going to use it,” Eli Goldman ’13 said.

Brenda Flores ’13 did not apply early at all.

“My dean really made it sound like if I didn’t apply early to this school, I wouldn’t get in,” Flores said.

“It really stressed me out and made it harder. My friends kept pressuring me and asking why I wasn’t but I didn’t feel like I could do a good job if I was rushed into it.”

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