Out of Time: Colleges should release college admission decisions earlier to help avoid conflict for students


Misha Rekhter

On Feb. 1, the housing application for Indiana University (IU) opened. The application prompts prospective students to place a deposit and reserve their preferred dorm on a first-come, first-served basis. As someone who is strongly considering attending IU, I went along with the process and placed my deposit; however, the whole process felt somewhat ridiculous because a majority of colleges had yet to release admission decisions. Many college admission decisions are only released in late March or early April. As such, to place a deposit for housing at a school I wasn’t even convinced I would be attending felt wrong. To be forced to do so before I had even heard back from multiple schools was equally uncomfortable. It felt as if I was being punished for applying to multiple schools.
This disconnect between different universities makes the college application process needlessly complicated for students. To avoid dilemmas such as mine, universities have attempted to provide methods for students to receive their admission status earlier by rolling out early decision and early action dates. Unfortunately, these dates are accompanied by stipulations for students. They require students to submit their applications months earlier than others and the early decision application is binding, meaning if students are accepted they must attend that school. As a result, students often are forced to apply to the regular decision deadline.
However, there is a simple solution which would benefit all parties: establishing a national application day and a national admission decision date which precedes all housing and other post-admission activities. This sort of system would make applying to college significantly easier. The current application process is messy, different for each school and a detriment to students. It’s time for universities to unite, revise their admission system and prioritize students.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Misha Rekhter at [email protected]