College admissions: The Early Decision advantage
The Washington Post analyzed admission data for 2015 from 64 prominent colleges and universities. It found that admission rates for students who apply through binding "early decision," are significantly higher than total admission rates. It also found that early decision fills a large share of the class at many schools. Students who apply early decision pledge to enroll if accepted. Other types of applicants - whether non-binding "early action" or regular - have until May 1 to compare offers and decide where to enroll.
*Note: Early decision share of the 2015 class is an estimate based on the number of early decision admits and the total enrollment reported. But sometimes early decision admits are released from their enrollment pledge, generally for financial reasons if an offered aid package is deemed insufficient. A college admissions edge for the wealthy: Early decision.
SOURCE: Common Data Set responses from colleges. GRAPHIC: Nick Anderson - The Washington Post. Published March 31, 2016.