What Worms for the Early Bird: Early Admissions at Elite Colleges

22 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2002  

Christopher Avery

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrew Fairbanks

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

Richard J. Zeckhauser

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

Early application programs have turned the college admissions process into a highly strategic arena. It is widely believed, but seldom acknowledged by colleges, that early applicants are favored in admissions decisions. This report is a brief summary of a book that will be published by Harvard University Press. We analyze admission records from 14 highly selective colleges, finding that early applicants are significantly more likely to be admitted than are regular applicants with similar qualifications. Our interviews with college students and high school counselors demonstrate a wide range of knowledge about the nature of early applications.

Keywords: Education Policy

Suggested Citation

Avery, Christopher and Fairbanks, Andrew and Zeckhauser, Richard J., What Worms for the Early Bird: Early Admissions at Elite Colleges (August 2001). John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP01-049. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=295569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.295569

Christopher Avery (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4063 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrew Fairbanks

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP ( email )

1301 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
United States

Richard J. Zeckhauser

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-496-3783 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-384-9340 (Fax)

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