After one year of allowing applicants to apply to Georgetown using early action in addition to other universities’ early decision programs, Georgetown has returned to a more restrictive early action program. For the class of 2007, Georgetown allowed students who had applied to binding early decision programs elsewhere to apply to Georgetown’s early action program also. Georgetown will return to its previous guidelines, where an early action application to Georgetown, though non-binding, bars an applicant from applying to other schools’ binding early decision programs.

“We could not be as sure of [the early actions pool’s] yield,” Associate Director of Admissions Karen Felton said. “For this coming cycle we have reverted to the old policy.”

This year, three schools that Georgetown competes with for applicants will change their policies regarding early action. Stanford University and Yale University will join Georgetown and Harvard in adopting early action.

Unlike Georgetown, however, Harvard, Yale and Stanford will not allow early action candidates to apply to other schools for early admission, a move that has led the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, a national organization that oversees college application practices, to begin a two-year study of the increasingly controversial application process.

Yale and Stanford both announced last November that they would drop binding early decision policies in favor of early action policies but they would still forbid applicants to seek early admission from other schools.

Several association members have argued that this move violates the definition of early action, and the association had considered imposing sanctions on the three universities. The in-depth study will instead look at the entire process of college admissions to determine how the system can best be improved.

Georgetown received 15,536 applications in 2002, up slightly from the 15,327 received the year before. This year marks the 11th consecutive year that the school has seen an increase in applications for undergraduate admissions.

“This year’s class represents the most competitive to date using all measures,” Felton said.

Although Georgetown does not officially tabulate average SAT scores, scores are up for the class of 2007, according to Felton.

Georgetown officially releases SAT scores in ranges – they provide the range of scores received by the middle 50 percent of students. The range of scores for the middle 50 percent of the class of 2007 on both the math and verbal sections of the SAT were between 670 and 760. Felton said that she was “enthused that the quality of the class continued to increase.”

Georgetown’s acceptance rate, however, climbed two points, from 21 percent to 23 percent. Felton explained the discrepancy is due to the change in Georgetown’s admissions policy that allowed students to apply to other early decision programs in addition to early action at Georgetown.

The admissions committee knew that some of the students in the early action applicant pool would be admitted to binding early decision programs, Felton said, and the admissions committee would enroll a lower percentage of students than normal. As a result, the committee admitted a larger percentage of the applicant pool than it normally would.

Felton said she was confident that, in the long run, Georgetown’s applicant pool would grow in terms of size, becoming even more competitive. “We have a strong position in the marketplace and offer a great product – students will continue to recognize that,” she said.

Felton said she is not convinced, however, that Georgetown’s applicant pool will see substantial increases in the coming year because of changes in the admissions policies of institutions with which Georgetown competes.

Overall, Felton said, “I expect another successful year for Georgetown admissions.”

Felton attributed much of the success of the admissions department to students involved in the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program and Blue and Gray, which offers tours of the university to prospective students.

“Much of the success our office has had in enrolling students is in large part due to the enthusiastic and passionate students who are already here,” she said. “We encourage students to be involved as tour guides or members of GAAP to help us continue to attract great students.”s

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