Bloomberg News reports that early admissions favors the affluent, and many of the most desirable colleges are filling up a large proportion of their freshman class early.

 

Janet Lorin writes:

 

Top colleges are filling more of their classes in early-admissions programs that favor affluent families, placing another barrier before poorer students hoping to better themselves through higher education.

 

Families that need financial aid often wait for the regular round, which starts this month, so they can compare aid offers. Because early-decision programs require a binding commitment to one school in November and boost admissions chances, many slots are taken before lower-income students even apply.

 

At Northwestern and Duke, about half the spots for this fall’s freshman class are already spoken for. Ten years ago, the universities each took about a quarter through early admissions. Vanderbilt expects its class to be as much as 44 percent full by next month, compared with a third a decade ago.

 

“The scale is definitely tipped to the kids who have more behind them financially,” said Bruce Poch, former dean of admissions at Pomona College in Claremont, California. The trend of colleges filling up early “has gotten more extreme in recent years.”