Today, more than 4,500 early decision applicants will find out whether they have a place in Penn’s Class of 2016.

The Admissions Office plans to make admissions decisions available online to the University’s 4,526 early decision applicants at 5 p.m.

While Penn’s early decision applicant pool dropped slightly from last year’s total of 4,571, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said this did not affect the application process.

“We’re thrilled about this class,” Furda said. “Everyone in College Hall feels really good.”

If Penn were to accept the same number of students through early decision as it did last year — which was 1,192, according to the Class of 2015’s online profile — the admissions rate for the Class of 2016 would be 26.3 percent. This would mark a marginal increase of 0.2 percent from the previous class.

Some college consultants, such as President of Hernandez College Consulting Michele Hernandez, do not believe Penn’s early decision acceptance rate will differ much from last year’s, even with the addition of early action programs at Harvard and Princeton universities.

“Early decision schools will probably be the exact same” in their acceptance rates, Hernandez predicted.

While Harvard and Princeton’s early action programs are unlikely to affect Penn’s early decision acceptance rate, they may impact the number of students who apply regular decision, since those accepted early at Harvard or Princeton are unlikely to send applications to Penn, Hernandez said.

“The regular decision cycle will be more humane,” she added. “Acceptance rates should be higher across the board.”

IvySelect College Consulting Director Michael Goran, a 1976 College graduate, agreed with the prediction that early decisions rates will be comparable to previous years.

He added that, among the students he works with who have applied early decision, “there’s definitely a lot of anticipation and a lot of nerves.”

Early decision applicant Jill Golub — a high-school senior at Solomon Schechter School in Westchester, N.Y. — said that although she is “pretty anxious” about finding out her admissions fate today, she is “just hoping for the best.”

Lauren Shapiro, another high-school senior who applied early decision from Doris and Alex Weber Jewish Community High School in Atlanta, is also eagerly awaiting her decision. “When you’re waiting for something important, the time leading up to it goes slower,” she said.

For this reason, many students seem to be happy that Penn is releasing its decisions on Dec. 9, rather than Dec. 15, which is when Harvard and Princeton will release their decisions, Goran said.

“Even if there’s trepidation, they’d like to know,” he added.

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