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Miami begins counting early decision students

By Jenna Kruse
On November 6, 2009

Nov. 1 marked the deadline for early decision applicants and the numbers for Miami University are slowly trickling in.

With an unusually low number of students for the class of 2013, the university is bracing itself for the class of 2014.

Ann Larson, senior associate director in the Office of Admission, said the final numbers will not be in for a couple of weeks.

"We get buckets of mail everyday so there are no final numbers yet," Larson said. "Today, Nov. 4, we're up by 50 with early decision applications. Yesterday we were down five."

Larson said the numbers could even be different from last year because of the different number of applications the processors were able to get through.

Larson said early decision students are critical on any campus that offers the early decision option because it demonstrates a commitment to Miami in favor of other colleges and universities.

"That positive energy is great fuel for the university," Larson said. "Once they get their admission decisions, they're great ambassadors for the school because in a sense they're already students but, ultimately, they are the smallest applicant pool."

Larson said the pool of early decision applicants compared to the early action and regular decision applicants is usually small and without a typical number from year-to-year.

"The majority of (graduating high school senior) applicants aren't in the database yet," Larson said. "90 percent of the students that will apply to Miami haven't yet. The reference point to compare early decision applicants against is who we admitted in 2009."

Mark Davis, a college counselor at Upper Arlington High School, said he typically doesn't encourage students to apply early decision because it's such a binding commitment.

"I'm not a big proponent unless a student can say this is my dream school," Davis said. "I don't have much trepidation for Miami because it's a state school and is often a number one choice for the students who really want to make it work."

Davis said Upper Arlington this year saw four early decision applicants in a current pool of 41 students who plan to apply to Miami. Last year, six students applied early decision from Upper Arlington.

Davis said Miami is only second to Ohio State University as far as the number of applicants.

"Students are very comfortable with Miami because of the reputation of having private expectations at a public school," Davis said. "They look at Miami and see something similar."

At Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Counseling Supervisor Vince Rahnfeld said he encourages students to send in applications early but only to apply early decision if they are completely comfortable with the school.

"Jokingly, if your parents were playing the school's fight song to you in the womb and immediately put you into baby clothes with the school colors, then that strong of a feeling that this is the fit to the exclusion of other schools, then it's a good decision," Rahnfeld said. "But, whenever a student talks about applying early decision we want to make sure they take the binding nature of that decision seriously."

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