Early admission

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Early admission is a college admission plan in which students apply earlier in the year than usual and receive their results early as well. This benefits students by reducing the number of applications to be completed at one time, and by providing results early. It benefits colleges as they generally know what their accepted student pool will look like before the regular admission process begins. Most colleges that participate in early admission request applications by October 15th or November 1st and return results by December 15th.

On September 12, 2006, Harvard University ended its early admissions program, a move that had profound effects on college admissions nationwide. Harvard Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons explained the move was intended to decrease the privileging of wealthy applicants by the early admissions process. In 2007, the University of Florida, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Princeton University joined Harvard when they announced that they were discontinuing their early decision admissions in an effort to help foster economic diversity in their student bodies. In 2011, Harvard University, Princeton University and several others reinstated their early admissions programs.

Common early admission plans include:

Some schools define early admission differently, considering applications from exceptionally qualified high school students who wish to enter college after the junior year. Students interested in this kind of early admission typically have outstanding high school records and have exhausted the educational opportunities available to them at their high schools.

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