October 3, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Early Action:

According to the Maroon (09/29/06, “In defense of early action”), Early Action does not actually distort the college application process in anyone’s favor, and so removing it, like Harvard did, would be “silly.”

If you are like me and a have a sibling in high school applying to college, make sure you tell them “Don’t apply Early Action to any school, I am sure the chances of you getting in will be just the same as applying regularly.”

After you say that, I suspect you will get a funny look for stating that there is no difference between regular and early applications.

Some insist that Early Action provides an advantage. If you are a smart and enthusiastic student but with low SAT scores, then supposedly, Early Action gives you a chance to shine brighter than you normally would since you are competing with fewer students.

Others will say that Early Action is more challenging than regular admission because you are competing for fewer slots so the standards the applicant is held to are higher.

Neither of those perspectives matter for this debate because what is evident by having those opposing opinions is that few people actually believe that your chances of getting into a university are exactly the same whether you apply early or regularly.

Harvard wants to keep the chance of an applicant getting accepted unaffected by the time of the year they apply, and that is a good thing.

It won’t be the magic bullet that turns the college application process into a true meritocracy independent of affirmative action quotas, alumni benefits, and financial advantages, but it is a step in the correct direction.

Noah Kristula-Green

Second-year in the College