Amount, quality of early decision applicants increases

Applying to the College through early decision is a popular choice for some of New Jersey’s best students.

“As of right now, we are seeing an increase in early decision applicants,” Lisa Angeloni, dean of Admissions, said. Though an exact number is not yet available now, the number of applicants tends to increase each year, and the quality of students.

The deadline for all early decision applications is Nov. 15.

All signed applications and supporting documents, including SAT scores, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation and a personal essay, as well as the $50 application fee, must be received by the Admissions Office by that date in order to be reviewed for early decision admittance.

The date of the notification of acceptance is Dec. 15.

The College looks for the same qualities in an early decision applicant as in a general applicant. Applicants should successfully complete the most “rigorous program that their high school offers,”

which differs from school to school, Angeloni said.

Community involvement, recommendations, essays and standardized test scores also play a vital role in determining a student’s acceptance to the College.

“Because the school is small enough, we are able to read everything,” said Angeloni, which is a practice that is not always followed in the admissions departments at larger universities.

According to Angeloni, about half of all early decision applicants are accepted, which is higher than the rate of acceptance during the regular application period.

She noted that when an applicant applies early, he or she is usually fairly confident of be acceptance.

However, some applicants are deferred to the general pool, and some are denied, according to Angeloni.

The Admissions Office does not want to give unworthy applicants the “false hope” that they may be accepted out of the general pool, she added.

Kristin Sincavage, freshman English major, applied to the College early decision last fall.

“After visiting TCNJ, I really felt as though it would be a great school for me, and I felt that it would be advantageous to apply early,” Sincavage said. “In all honesty, I’m not sure what kind of bearing my early application had on my admission, but it was very reassuring to know that I was accepted to my first-choice school during the fall semester of my senior year.”

“I heard from my counselor in high school that your chances of being accepted were better if you applied early decision,” Eric Mele, freshman international business major, said. “TCNJ was my first choice, so I wanted to know as soon as possible if I’d get in. That way, if it didn’t work out, I could still apply to other schools.”

“I applied early because I was applying for the school of nursing, and I knew they didn’t accept too many people, so I figured I’d have a better shot if I applied early,” Kim Bucher, freshman nursing major, said.

Applying early was the best decision for many students, including Mele.

“I didn’t have to worry throughout the end of high school about where I was going in the fall,” Mele said.

“I was very secure with my decision, and I still feel as though applying early was the right choice for me,” said Sincavage. “I really couldn’t imagine myself at any other school now.”

“It was the right decision because I love TCNJ, and I’m very glad I got in and decided to go here,” Bucher added.

The increase in the number and quality of applicants throughout the years is no mystery to Angeloni.

“TCNJ offers the best public education in the state,” she said. “It’s becoming a first choice for the smartest kids in the state.”

“Our retention rate is the highest in the nation (approximately 95 percent) for a public or private school our size,” she said. Additionally, “our grads get good jobs.”

According to the evaluation survey given to those who take tours of the College, the most impressive thing about TCNJ is the campus itself.

She said her staff always receives positive feedback about the College.

“I think that early decision is a means of measuring that TCNJ is becoming more students’ first choice,” Angeloni added. “It is further validation that the College is doing something right.”