College to add Early Decision II option to admissions process

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Schools often use Early Decision II as an admissions tool to improve yield rates. COURTESY PHOTO / WM.EDU

This fall’s pool of applicants for admission to the College of William and Mary will have another option beyond Early Decision and regular admission — Early Decision II.

This new option was announced at the Board of Visitors annual board meeting Friday, April 20 after the board voted to approve the resolution. Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission Tim Wolfe said that this decision will be beneficial to students, especially those in high school who aren’t able to make a commitment to a particular school earlier in the academic year.

“It’s a way for students who recognize that William and Mary is their number one choice to be able to have an Early Decision option, but to be able to do that in that window between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1, when a lot of students come to that realization,” Wolfe said.

“It’s a way for students who recognize that William and Mary is their number one choice to be able to have an Early Decision option, but to be able to do that in that window between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1, when a lot of students come to that realization,” Wolfe said.

The deadline for Early Decision applications has historically been Nov. 1, with notifications being delivered to students in early December. The deadline for Early Decision II would coincide with the regular admission deadline, Jan. 1. Wolfe said the admissions office is targeting to release decisions slightly earlier than regular decision, likely sometime in mid-February.

Wolfe said that he expects the percentage of the freshman class that comes from Early Decision will increase, but that this will not fundamentally alter the admission process. Currently Early Decision applicants represent approximately 33 percent of each incoming freshman class. However Wolfe said he predicts that figure might get closer to 38-40 percent going forward.

Schools with an Early Decision II option often use it as a tool to improve their yield rates — the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll. Wolfe added that while this new option aids the admissions office from a planning perspective, it also helps to create an enthusiastic freshman class.

“It’s also always nice to have that cohort of students who are super excited about William and Mary right from the start,” Wolfe said. “What we often say is that the class builds from Early Decision. That’s the initial group in place, and they really help that momentum going forward.”

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