As of this year, Ramapo College has decided not to offer Immediate Decision Day, or IDD, to incoming freshman.
IDD is a day held during the summer when incoming freshman visit Ramapo and are interviewed by Admissions that day. Immediately, they are informed whether or not they are accepted to Ramapo.
“Over the last three years, Ramapo College has seen an incredible increase in the number of applicants,” Christopher Romano, associate vice president of enrollment management, said. “As the number of applications has increased, our ability to predict the total number of students that will ultimately enroll gets increasingly more challenging. Up until 2011, we were finding that students accepted during Immediate Decision were more likely to attend Ramapo than those accepted during the regular admissions process.”
However, in recent years, IDD has become less effective in ensuring that the students who apply actually attend Ramapo. According to Romano, this led to the institution of Early Decision at Ramapo, instead of IDD. Early Decision differs from IDD in that when a student is accepted they must pull their applications from other colleges and attend Ramapo. With IDD, the admittance is not binding.
“As the number of schools the average high school student applies to increases, which nationally stands at between eight to ten schools, we began to see a decline in the percent of students that were accepted at IDD ultimately enroll. Thus, after careful analysis of data, looking at what other similar institutions do and the increased quality of our applicant pool, we decided to pilot Early Decision last year. We had great results with our first year, so we will continue on this year with Early Decision,” Romano said.
According to the Ramapo website, students can apply using the Early Decision application if they feel Ramapo is their top choice. Romano explained that Early Decision and IDD are similar, due to the fact that they give students with a strong desire to attend Ramapo College the chance to apply and receive notice earlier than other applicants.
However, some students feel that the commitment required of those who do Early Decision is too restricting. Kim Halloran, a senior at Ramapo, believes that Ramapo should eliminate IDD and Early Decision all together.
“I think that’s probably a better idea, because that seems like a really big commitment for any incoming freshman to be making. Personally, I wouldn’t have done any sort of Immediate Decision Days as a freshman,” Halloran said.
Others, like senior Erica Nilsen, took advantage of IDD and benefitted from it.
“When I was applying for undergraduate schools, there really weren’t a lot of schools I was looking at. Ramapo was my top school and it was my one shot; if I didn’t get in then I’d have to look at other schools I wasn’t as interested in,” said Nilsen.
Nilsen was accepted to Ramapo through the IDD process, and explained that one of the benefits of IDD was that it gave her the chance to explain aspects of her application to a member of Admissions.
“I was a good student in high school, but I struggled with math. Out of my A and B grades I did obtain a D in one of my math classes, and it was something that stuck out. To have heard that the Immediate Decision Day gave potential students a chance to speak directly with Admissions concerning anything in their life, this allowed me to explain this blip on my good grades,” Nilsen said.
Many upperclassmen seem to think that eliminating IDD will not make a difference in the amount of students that choose Ramapo as their college.
“I don’t think it will affect admissions too much. If a student is really interested in the school, they will still apply early and wait to find out if they got in. It is just nicer to know that same day if you are accepted or not,” said junior Erica Morel.
According to Romano, each year Admissions spends a considerable amount of time reviewing data about applications, acceptances and ultimately enrollment. Based on the incoming freshman class, Admissions will determine if a program such as IDD will be reinstated or not.