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Eric Furda and others in the Admissions office seal acceptance letters to be mailed to students in the class of 2015 Credit: Alexandra Fleischman

A record-high 5,629 early decision applicants applied to Penn for the Class of 2020, up 140 applicants from last year.

Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said having a relatively small yearly increase is expected with early decision applications.

“With the commitment that’s implicit in Early Decision, these numbers are still going to stay in a fairly tight band,” he said, adding that it’s essential to see the increase. “If you’re down by one application, then you’re on your heels. We’re up, but it’s manageable.”

The number of applications has increased by nearly 2,000 since the Class of 2013 was applying in 2008, when there were 3,631 applications. The early decision round broke 5,000 applications for the first time with the Class of 2018, who applied in 2013, with 5,141 applicants.

Last year, 54.4 percent of the Class of 2019 was filled by early decision applicants.

As a member of the Common Application board, Furda said he’s also pleased that there weren’t any major obstacles with the platform this year when the highest volume of applications were submitted on the Sunday deadline.

“Everything seems to have gone very smoothly for what is one of the heaviest deadlines,” he said.

Admissions officers have been reading applications since last Friday, because students who participate in the QuestBridge program — a national college match program for lower income students — are on an even earlier timeline. But on Monday, admissions officers will also started reading applications for early decision.

Furda said decisions will be posted on Friday, Dec. 11. Regular decision applications are due on Jan. 5, 2016.

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