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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Admissions finalizes ED1 applications


Applying to colleges via early decision (ED) can be a no-brainer choice for applicants with a clear first-choice school. Grinnell College’s 2018 ED1 admission is soon to be finalized and the notification letters will be sent to the applicants today, Dec. 7, at 5:00 pm.

According to Jonathan Edwards, senior associate director of admission, this year the College received 231 Early Decision applications in total, including 89 internationally.

Regarding this year’s ED1 application materials, Edwards said he did not find many differences compared with last year’s applications.

“What we are doing, I think, is finding the right people in our admissions. First, good schools that would be a good fit for what there is to be offered, as well as people that are well-prepared and qualified to do well,” Edwards said.

“So in terms of if I’ve seen anything new with the type of student who is applying, I don’t think we’ve seen much difference. I mean, they are pretty good kids,” Edwards added.

ED1 applicants to Grinnell are usually students who have done a lot of college researches upfront and determined Grinnell College to be their first choice.

“Those are great, great matches for us,” Edwards said.

When determining what makes a great match for Grinnell in terms of ED1, Edwards keeps a few questions in mind when viewing the applicants’ materials.

“Number one, the question: can the students do the work academically, of course. Because that’s the most important thing; we don’t want set a student up to fail.”

“But secondly, we want to answer these questions: would the students be happy here? Is Grinnell a good social fit for them as well? Will they plug into the extracurricular stuff that liberal arts colleges offer? And, do students end up learning from each other, as they do from faculty, from their coursework? So we are looking for those qualities that students might bring in that regard, with respect to what they are gonna teach others and what they are open to learning from others,” Edwards said.

Students who apply to Grinnell both ED1 and through regular decision are not required to write any additional essays beyond the Common Application. The choice to not require any additional responses was made by admissions officers who feel answers to questions like “Why do you want to come to Grinnell?” were not very productive in determining if a student was going to be a good fit.

In the meantime, Edwards also noted that to fulfill the College’s commitment to accessibility, the Office of Admission eliminates application fees for all the applicants and also offers Free International Students Financial Aid Application (FISFAA) to international applicants who cannot afford the delivery costs of their application materials.

“Grinnell is committed to access, so we want to try to make it as easy as possible,” Edwards said.

While the two rounds of early decision are not yet finalized, Edwards estimates that 30 to 35 percent of the incoming class of 2023 Grinnellians will be students who have been admitted through either ED1 or ED2.

Since the admission result is not finalized yet, all data above has limited value. For the finalized data, see the report of the Office of Admission upon its release.

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