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Illinois E-Notifies Early Applicants

By Hanna Aronovich in News on Dec 18, 2006 6:07PM

The older we get, the happier we are that high school is behind us, especially the stress and uncertainty of senior-year college decisions. When Chicagoist was applying to college, the tell-all sign of acceptance was the large, thick envelope in the mail. The small envelope, of course, contained a rejection letter.

Recently, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made admission decisions for early admission applicants available online. CBS2 reported the 13,000 early applicants learned their fates on Friday at 5 p.m. About 7,000 students got the nod, 3,000 were rejected, and 3,000 were deferred until March 1 for final decision.

collegedummies.jpgU of I still uses the rolling admissions process, like most large state schools. However, university officials said the new approach is designed to decrease student anxiety. In addition to online notification, letters were mailed out, old-school style.

Associate Provost of Enrollment Management Keith Marshall said the university’s systems were equipped to handle the rush of students logging on, although it might have taken three or four tries to get through. We’re amused at the image of some high-strung seniors frantically hitting the refresh button.

Interestingly, many schools are expanding their early-decision programs, while some Ivies, like Harvard and Princeton, have cut the program entirely. With admission becoming more competitive at U of I, it makes sense that more students would opt for early decision — and those on-the-ball students would want their acceptance notification as soon as possible.

Online notification is actually on the lower end of the instant notification. Some schools, like Creighton University, are text messaging acceptances. We think text-message admittance notification is rife with problems and could cause even more anxiety for those type-A personalities. But, that’s just us. And, like we said, we’re glad those days are behind us.