GW recently implemented a second early-decision admittance policy, which will allow more students to commit early with a later deadline.
Some students decide that GW is their first choice after having visited in the fall of their senior year, said Kathryn Napper, GW’s director of Admissions.This second early decision plan allows these students to still participate.
Decisions currently are mailed to potential students by Jan. 15 if their application arrives by Dec. 1. Under the new program, letters will be mailed by Feb. 4 if completed applications arrive by Jan. 15.
In the past five years, the number of total applications to GW has risen by almost 50 percent, but early decision applications have increased by almost 70 percent.
A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education described the dramatic increase nationwide in the number of high school students applying for early decision to college.
While those students who really know where they want to go to college can benefit from the process, a growing number . are applying early simply because they have concluded that it will help them get into a prestigious institution, according to the article.
The trend also has been triggered by the adoption of binding early decision programs by top schools such as Stanford, Yale and Princeton universities.
In the early-decision program students are committed to a university in exchange for the luxury of notification of acceptance as early as mid-December of senior year.
Issues that have arisen with this new trend include whether average students, who are children of alumni or who do not need financial aid, have a better chance of acceptance in the earlier pool of applicants.
Napper said acceptance rates are about 50 percent for either pool of applicants and consideration for financial assistance is not affected by the time the student applied.