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CONTACT: Robin Mamlet, dean of admission and financial aid, (650) 725-2839

Stanford changes early admission program

Stanford University is changing its early admission program and will no longer require early applicants to make a binding commitment to attend Stanford at the time of their application, President John Hennessy announced Wednesday.

The decision, which is designed to decrease the amount of pressure high school seniors feel during the application process, takes effect with students accepted to enter Stanford in September 2004 as part of the class of 2008. The only stipulation is that early applicants must agree not to file any other early applications.

"We have been deeply concerned about the tremendous pressures that talented young people face as they apply to colleges like Stanford," Hennessy said. "This new policy offers those who have set their hearts on attending Stanford the opportunity to apply early in their senior year, without the additional pressure of having to commit before they are ready. We believe this is the right thing to do for Stanford and for our prospective students."

Stanford's decision is similar to one announced Wednesday by Yale University, which is also eliminating the requirement for accepted early applicants to commit to attend. However, the institutions reached their decisions independently.

"Like Yale, we were planning to announce this decision after the Nov. 1 early application deadline so as not to confuse applicants," said Robin Mamlet, Stanford's dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid. "In addition, we had hoped to enter into conversations with the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which currently has rules stating that early applicants can apply early to as many places as they like. However, we felt it was important to also signal our intent and to provide applicants and families with as much information as possible."

Stanford's current Early Decision program was designed for students whose first choice was Stanford. In the past, if admitted, the student made a binding commitment to enroll. Under the new program, students who agree to submit only one early application will be considered for admission to Stanford in early November. If accepted, those early applicants will have until May to make a commitment. The regular admission deadline for Stanford is in December.

Stanford made offers of admission to 2,320 students for the 1,641-student Class of 2006, which entered this fall. Five hundred fifty-six of those students were admitted under the Early Decision program. Admission to Stanford's freshman class continues to be very competitive, with only 12.4 percent of the applicants for fall 2002 offered admission, compared with 12.7 percent for fall 2001 and 13.2 percent for fall 2000. Total applications to Stanford have held steady over the past several years at approximately 19,000.



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