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Have any schools seen a rise in early applicants?


Just curious if anybody has heard anything. I wonder if COVID has drastically changed numbers admissions-wise and if acceptance rates are going to be lower/higher this year.


3 answers

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Accepted answer

Yes, most schools have seen increases in applicants. For instance, MIT saw a 160% increase in the number of Early Action Applications that were submitted to this admission cycle. This is likely due to schools being test-optional and increased uncertainty in the admissions process.

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To add to @adri ‘s answer, you can definitely count on the fact that more applicants are applying test optional. Few websites have published early decision and early action results, but numerous college admissions videos have stated that “many, many more students are applying test optional” and “the number of students who applied test-optional was through the roof”.

I applied to Tulane U. Early Action and you can check out their YouTube video for some insight on the application process here ( Skip to “6:10” of the video to hear the story of applicants applying early and test-optional.

As for this unprecedented statistic, I would say that college admissions rates will go down for elite and Ivy League school’s (because now everyone thinks they can apply without the stress of testing scores), whereas local colleges and many of the less well-known school’s admissions rates may go up (not many will apply, and some students who’ve intended on applying here initially may be considering a gap-year). It would be a difficult estimate, but it seems logical.

Here are some current stats from a website if you’d rather read: ( From this, there is no clear trend, it just seems like admissions rates are up-and-down all across the board.

Hope I helped a bit!!

Thanks so much! I also applied to Tulane EA. Thursday cannot come soon enough, best of luck!
Lol, thanks you too! Just keep fingers crossed 🤞 😂
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Yes, especially at elite universities from what I have heard. The number of applications at my ED school (T20 University) went up 20% which by itself would decrease the acceptance rate but there were also over 100 students who took a gap year and decreased the amount of spots available overall in the class. I imagine the situation is similar at other top universities. More generally though, it's been reported by the common app that there are less applications being sent in overall, but if you're applying to elite public or private schools I would assume that acceptance rates will be the same or lower.

Yeah MIT is expected to be around 4.5% EA acceptance rate