Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Not so fast

An increase in the amount of early decision applications at Boston University does not mean applicants are ignoring BU’s hefty price tag. Rather, it is reflective of a national trend in which early decision applications to private institutions have increased regardless of the troubled economic times.

The fact that the number of early decision applicants has increased by 13.1 percent should come as no surprise. Applications to BU have been on the rise for some time. In 2007, the total applicant pool increased by 12.1 percent. The amount of applications received by colleges across the board has increased, so it only makes sense that this number would include early decision applications.

When the economy is struggling, there is only a greater incentive for students to secure a spot at the college of their choice. A college education is expensive, but high school students know that in a tough job market, someone with a college degree, as opposed to someone with only a high school diploma, will have more success.

An increase in the amount of applicants is meaningless. Thanks to the Common Application, prospective students can easily apply to several different colleges, even ones they are not serious about attending. The number of students accepted and a college’s acceptance rate is also unimportant. BU can take as many students as it wants, but that is not a reflection of the quality of a BU’ education. There is no guarantee these accepted students will decide to come to BU.

‘ What really matters is the number of students admitted at BU versus the number of students who actually enroll. Students who are accepted into BU have to weigh the reputation of the university against its pricey tuition. If this year’s numbers reveal an increase in students who actually choose BU over the more affordable options, maybe then administrators can boast that BU’s reputation had soared as its ‘caliber of faculty and student body continue to strengthen.’

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