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Early Decision applications have reached an all-time high of 5,999 applications this year.

Credit: Catherine de Luna

This year, Penn received 6,075 applications in the Early Decision round — the most it has ever seen.

However, the number of ED applications reflect both students applying under the Early Decision program and QuestBridge applications, which are reviewed by Penn under a separate early program. QuestBridge is a non-profit organization that links low-income students with top colleges.

Last year, 5,762 students, including QuestBridge students, sent in their applications to Penn early. Already, Penn has seen a four percent increase in applications since the 2015 application cycle. But Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said there are dangers to making direct comparisons.

“It’s not comparing apples and apples,” Furda said.

The final total for Penn Early Decision applications will be known when QuestBridge deliberations have completed.

Each year, the number of Early Decision applications generally increases. This year, the number of applications to Penn through the Early Decision program grew even though the Penn Admissions team briefly changed their early admissions program to a restricted policy and then changed it back again.

Early Decision acceptances are released in mid-December, and QuestBridge acceptances are released before Thanksgiving.