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A report by the group Education Reform Now blasts early-decision admissions programs—in which applicants commit to enroll if admitted—as providing an advantage to wealthier applicants.

The report noted that “students who attended independent private high schools were more than 3.5 times more likely to apply ED than public school students were.” In addition, “international applicants were almost three times more likely to apply ED than U.S. residents were.” And further, “applicants from the wealthiest ZIP codes were twice as likely to apply ED than all other applicants were.”

To solve the problem, if colleges are unwilling to eliminate early decision, the report made three recommendations: that early decision end at public institutions, that “institutions that offer ED … meet the full financial need of all applicants” and improved “awareness of the benefits of early decision by improving college and career counseling.”

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