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Early Admissions at Selective Colleges

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  • Christopher Avery
  • Jonathan D. Levin

Abstract

Early admissions is 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Avery & Jonathan D. Levin, 2009. "Early Admissions at Selective Colleges," NBER Working Papers 14844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14844 Note: ED IO
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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