Dear Prospective Student,
This is that time of the year when lots of folks in our world, and possibly yours, are talking about Early Decision. I want to reassure you that at the same time, there are a lot of people that aren’t.
In fact, most of our offers of admission go to those who apply Regular Decision. So, if you aren’t ready to commit to a college yet (including Hamilton!), resist that urge to apply Early Decision (in some circles we understand that takes courage!) and take your time finding the place that is the best fit for you. Especially because your visits to campuses or overall college search may have been delayed due to COVID limitations, it is ok to take all the time you need to make this important decision.
On the other hand, if Hamilton is far and away your top choice college, and you’ve thought through your options – academically, financially, socially – and you feel like you are in a good position to put forth your best application at this point in your senior year, then you might consider applying Early Decision. Our first ED deadline is one month away … November 15th, and we will let ED candidates know our decision by December 15th.
Those who are admitted can celebrate early and have their college search done by the end of 2021. Of course their admission decision is contingent upon maintaining their coursework, grades, and good citizenship, and they are required to withdraw all other applications, given the commitment they have made to Hamilton (and Hamilton has made to them).
Another decision some ED candidates might receive from us is an invitation to join Hamilton’s “Jan” class. Because most ED applicants might not have considered or requested a spring start, we release those who are offered January admission from our binding ED commitment, so they have until May 1 to compare this to other offers of admission they may receive.
A small handful of ED applicants who aren’t admitted will be deferred for consideration in our Regular Decision pool. Each school is different but at Hamilton we don’t defer too many students because in most years we are even more selective at Regular Decision, and we don’t want to string students along with a soft landing when they can use that time to fall in love with other colleges. Having said that, each year we try to admit a considerable percentage of our deferred ED candidates, given that Hamilton was their top choice and we’d love to see those students at Hamilton.
The only remaining decision we render at ED is deny. This is, quite frankly, the hardest part of our job…figuring out who not to take. While this news is likely not as hard for us to deliver as it may be for our applicants to receive, we want to reassure you that it is not something we take lightly...particularly for students who have indicated that Hamilton is their top choice. We simply don’t have enough room in our entering class to admit all of the students we’d love to see on our campus and in our community. Most of the students who aren’t admitted to Hamilton will land on their feet just fine – with a back up plan in place and other great colleges to pursue. And after a short period of disappointment, they rebound with renewed enthusiasm for their college search and, once a little distance has passed, most will tell you that they loved where they ended up and everything worked out the way it was supposed to!
There is a lot about this process that we can’t promise and you can’t control, but having all the information you need to make informed decisions about where, when, and how you apply is the first step, and it is in that spirit that we wanted to pass along this information about Hamilton’s Early Decision process and philosophy. The one thing I can guarantee is that we will give every single application the careful attention and respect it deserves, no matter the round of admission or decision that you receive, and we will never take your admission candidacy for granted at Hamilton.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with our admission and financial aid teams as you consider your options for your future, and all best to you with navigating the remainder of this journey.
Monica C. Inzer
Vice President for Enrollment Management