Early Action 2011

In just over four hours here on the East Coast we will release our Early Action admissions decisions.   Like many of my colleagues across the country, I’m here to report a significant application increase this year over last.    In fact, just a year ago, I was writing about 5400 Early Action applications.   This year, the pool increased to 6330!  

Ultimately, I’m not sure I can explain the huge increase in our pool.  After all, we are not on the Common App which would make it that much easier to submit an application.   I do know that many people have commented to me this year (and last) that Elon is a school many people are talking about all over the country.   That’s very exciting and I’m convinced that most of that has to do with our students.   Simply put, they are amazing.    And they love it here!

You may recall that we admitted approximately 50% of the EA pool last year.    That is the case again this year.   Of course, there were more applications so that meant we had to be more selective.    The average core recalcuated GPA for the admitted pool is 4.22 and the SAT average is 1965.   The ACT average is 29.

Of course, the academic profile drives all admissions decisions.   If you have ever been part of one of my campus information sessions, you have heard me say that many outstanding students with these profiles apply.   So how do we identify candidates for admission among more qualified applicants than we can admit?   We look to the Student Index.   This is a composite of an applicant’s activities, leadership and service as well as the strength of the application essay.    My colleagues in the department and I agree that essays this year seemed stronger than last.    This may be a function of a new essay prompt or it could be a result of the new Elon Engagement Scholarship which is based on the essay itself! 

W e anticipate enrolling 150 students in the class next fall who are recipients of Elon Engagement awards.   These scholarships are US$3500/year plus a one-time $2000 Elon Experiences grant to use toward Elon’s signature programs including study abroad, service, internships, research or leadership development.  

At the risk of repeating myself from year to year, let me say a word about our Records staff.    Their work is always impressive.   They are accurate and thorough and this year, they raised the bar for all of us.   The 13 hour day operation paid dividends in allowing us to process, read and make decisions on the largest EA applicant pool in history!   Once again, just 3% of the pool was moved to Final Deadline because we didn’t receive the required information in a timely manner.   That’s beyond impressive and I cannot thank our Records team enough.

In Early Action, applications are admitted, declined or deferred. 

So what does Deferred really mean and what can a student applicant do to be more competitive in Final Deadline?   To begin with, we need the requested academic information.   If a student with a 4.2 is deferred and we ask for mid senior year grades, I know this sounds crazy.   But since the issue may be a standardized test, asking an applicant to register for another SAT/ACT when the deadline is three days from today (SAT) and January 7 (ACT) this doesn’t work terribly well either.  If your standardized test score resulted in a decision to defer, a strong academic record in your senior year along with demonstrated interest (contacting your admissions counselor via e-mail) may be helpful as the Committee re-evaluates a file in February.    Naturally, we cannot guarantee admission for everyone who provides what we request but every year we admit hundreds of deferred EA candidates in Final Deadline.     Still others are offered a place on our Wait List while some are offered Spring Admission.

The University will be closed from Wednesday, December 21 through Tuesday, December 27.    We will reopen for two days before closing again for the New Year holiday.   I hope this blog post provides some context for the decision making process again this year.

Moreover, I hope everyone has a healthy and safe holiday season filled with family, friends and rest.    Thank you for discovering Elon and for understanding the complexities of selective admissions.

Happy 2012!

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