Class of 2025 EA & ED Trends and What it Means for Future Applicants

I’m no psychic, but I have a feeling this year’s early admit (EA) and early decision (ED) results portend increased priority applications and permanent test optional policies.

I’m no psychic, but I have a feeling this year’s early admit (EA) and early decision (ED) results portend increased priority applications and permanent test optional policies.

Why? Because EA and ED applications absolutely soared this year. The primary driving factor was, predictably, Covid-19; however, I suspect those changes are here to stay.

From those institutions that have released their EA and ED data, it is clear to see that highly sought-after colleges and universities have seen a huge uptick in early applications.


This is likely the result of Covid-19, which has ushered in a rapid shift to test-optional application policies and an increased need for academic aid to offset poor and uncertain economic conditions.

What we don’t know, though, is how these changes will impact admissions in the future. My suspicion is that the increase is here to stay — most likely because schools are able to reap the benefits of test-optional policies. Less stringent application policies increase applications, which, in turn, reduce yield and increase ranking. Schools also get to appeal to low-income or minority students by adopting test-optional policies.

For future applicants, this means having to begin applications even earlier than in years past. This is especially important for international students to follow through on; statistically international applicants are less likely to apply early than their US counterparts, which obviously puts them at a disadvantage.

I urge international students to begin their 2021-2022 applications — especially creating a school list — by the spring to be competitive.

Undergraduate applicants and families, you can read my suggested timeline here: North American undergraduate application time process planning guide (updated version)

Graduate applicants and families, read my suggested timeline here: North American Graduate Application Time Process Planning Guide (Complete Edition)

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➽➽➽If you would like more help with your application or your child’s application, consider working with me directly. I create applications that are strong, attention-grabbing, and worthy of any of your target schools. Read more about me, view my packages, or add me on WeChat at kvanderweert to arrange a free 20 minute consultation. I look forward to discussing how I can help.