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Early Admissions at Selective Colleges

  • Christopher Avery
  • Jonathan Levin

Early admissions are widely used by selective colleges and universities. We identify some basic facts about early admissions policies, including the admissions advantage enjoyed by early applicants and patterns in application behavior, and propose a game-theoretic model that matches these facts. The key feature of the model is that colleges want to admit students who are enthusiastic about attending, and early admissions programs give students an opportunity to signal this enthusiasm. (JEL C78, I23)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.100.5.2125
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2125-56

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:5:p:2125-56
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  1. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  2. Sam-Ho Lee, 2009. "Jumping The Curse: Early Contracting With Private Information In University Admissions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 1-38, 02.
  3. Hector Chade & Greg Lewis & Lones Smith, 2006. "The College Admissions Problem Under Uncertainty," 2006 Meeting Papers 125, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Avery, Christopher & Fairbanks, Andrew & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2001. "What Worms for the Early Bird: Early Admissions at Elite Colleges," Working Paper Series rwp01-049, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Kim, Matthew, 2010. "Early decision and financial aid competition among need-blind colleges and universities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 410-420, June.
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