Harvard and Princeton Reinstate Early Admissions Programs

In 2006 both Harvard University and Princeton University did away with their early admissions programs. Critics of early admissions had charged that these programs favored whites and served to hinder efforts to diversify the applicant pool. Both universities have now reinstated non-binding early action admissions programs. Students can apply early to each school but, if accepted, don’t have to make a choice on whether they will enroll until the end of the regular admissions process.

Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, explained, “Many highly talented students, including some of the best prepared low-income and underrepresented minority students, were choosing programs with an early-action option, and therefore were missing out on the opportunity to consider Harvard.”

In reinstating early admissions, both Harvard and Princeton said they would increase recruitment efforts aimed at students from low-income and minority groups.