Chances of Getting into Harvard Are Slimmer for Regular Admission Applicants

If you are applying to Harvard, do it early. 

The odds of getting into Harvard are higher if you apply in early rounds. (Getty Images)
Getty Images/iStockphoto

When applying to Harvard, it is best to do it early. The odds of getting in are slimmer for students who apply in the regular pool than for those who apply in the early rounds, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

Regular-decision admission notices for Harvard, Yale, Penn and other Ivy League institutions come Wednesday evening, but large proportions of their incoming first-year students were locked up a long time ago thanks to early-admittance programs.

High school seniors have increasingly been applying through binding early-decision programs in order to get a leg up in the brutal competition for a spot at selective colleges, according to WSJ.

Last year, Harvard admitted 14.5 percent of early-action applicants and about 3.3 percent of regular-decision applicants. The admission rate for early round candidates — who usually find out if they’re in as early as December — is often two or three times higher than regular applicants. For example, at Yale, 17.1 percent of students who applied early-decision were accepted while 5 percent of regular applicants were accepted. College admissions officers say that it is not necessarily easier to get in by early admissions, but the applicant pool includes particularly exceptional candidates, and they have a clear commitment to the school.

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