To the Editors:
Thank you for the article on early admissions at Lehigh. The fact that 46 percent of the entering class were early applicants is cause for concern. Early decision favors more sophisticated, higher-income students and makes it harder to pursue economic diversity in the student body. Students who apply early decision tend to come from families more familiar with higher education and from schools with better support for college-bound students. Further, a student who applies early decision cannot wait to see if she gets a better financial aid package from another school. Recently, University of Virginia, Harvard and Princeton abandoned their early decision programs in pursuit of economic diversity. Amherst, which has an unusually good record of enrolling working-class students, has limited early decision applicants to 30 percent of its entering class, for the same reason.
As we strive to make Lehigh a more diverse community, I hope that our president-elect will scrutinize this practice to see if it is helping or hindering our progress toward our goal.
Dena S. Davis
Professor, Religion Studies