This year marked the first time the University instituted a binding Early Decision (ED) option alongside Early Action (EA) for applicants. The Maroon reached out to the new class for their reactions.
Along with the previously existing nonbinding EA application option, the University is now offering a binding ED I option. Applicants from these pools receive their decisions in December. The University of Chicago accepted its first batch of students via EA and ED I late last December. There is also now an ED II option with a later deadline.
According to newly admitted student Olivia Martin, in the presence of the new ED option, EA selection appears as more of an afterthought for some diehard UChicago lovers. “I felt like the commitment [of ED] would increase my chances of actually being accepted, and I didn’t really see myself at many other schools,” Martin said.
“I am definitely happy with the program; it’s super nice to already know where I’m going to school next year. UChicago has been my top choice school for years, and I know [ED] might have changed the makeup and mentality of my class, but it’s also exciting that I’ll be going to school with people who definitely love UChicago as much as I do,” Martin said.
The decision to accept a round of ED applicants while retaining the EA option has been met with varying responses.
“[Early Decision] does kind of take away from Early Action, but there has to be some indicator of how excited you are about the school. The Early Decision option allows us to show how badly we want to be there,” recently admitted ED applicant Parker Mee said.
Mee went back and forth between both options, before ultimately deciding to choose Early Decision. “I talked to my tutor about Scav, and it made me excited to go there. At that point, I didn’t want to apply anywhere else,” Mee said.
A number of the recently admitted students who applied ED told The Maroon they were glad to have the binding option, with some citing it as a reason they were accepted to the University. The wider variety of options might help the University stand out among other top-tier schools, many of which only offer Restrictive Early Action or Early Decision.
According to ED admit Eisuke Tanioka, this option allowed applicants to truly express their desire to be at the University. “For me, I knew that I wanted to go to UChicago, so I [chose] ED. I enjoyed that they had EA and ED. I think it’s nice for UChicago to have those options,” Tanioka said.