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The Columbia program, typically a five year program in which students are at Columbia for the final two, gives liberal arts college students the opportunity to earn a BS degree from the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The three elite colleges share a data system called Slate that tracks applicant admissions, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the hack.
The stolen data reportedly included personal information as well as notes from admissions' officers, their interview report and acceptance decisions.
Most of these schools automatically consider you for merit scholarships without the need for an additional application. Because Early Decision is a binding commitment, it only makes sense if you're a competitive applicant, affordability isn't an issue, and you're absolutely certain it's the school for you.
But as the list shows, there can be a meaningful advantage in applying this way if you are. Note: most early decision deadlines occur in early November, so the time is now to consider if it makes sense for you.
We've compiled a list of selected schools in our coverage universe with explicit deadlines, along with some stats to help you gauge the size and breadth of the institution's merit offerings.
We've also included links to each school's scholarship page for easy access to the details. Here's a list of schools with early decision admission rates that are at least twice as high as their regular decision admission rates.
Applying to college is a stressful process, but now some applicants to Grinnell and two other private colleges are having to deal with a headache beyond writing personal essays: Fending off ransom requests from hackers who claimed to have gained access to their files.
Applicants at Grinnell, Hamilton and Oberlin colleges reportedly received ransom notes from hackers claiming to have accessed their application files.
In others, like Indiana University and many other public institutions, it's a "priority" deadline that maximizes your chances of merit aid before the money runs out.
Either way, merit aid continues to be an excellent way for good students to defray the cost of an education.