Notre Dame Law School has ended binding early applications, the school’s office of admissions announced in a press release Wednesday. The release cited unfair wealth advantages and anxiety as main reasons for the elimination.
“Early decision programs tend to advantage wealthier students and create anxiety for many students when choosing an application program,” the release said.
The early decision application program bound students to Notre Dame Law School before they could weigh financial aid options, sparking the concerns that led to this decision.
Instead of the early decision program, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, according to the press release.
"Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in Sept. and initial admissions decisions will be released in late Nov. or early Dec. While the application will close on March 15, prospective students are encouraged to submit applications early in the admissions cycle," the law school wrote.
The law school heralded increasing diversity and first-generation law students in its last two classes, and said this latest step would promote further “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
“Our success at enrolling diverse students who have demonstrated excellence will be amplified by this modification of our admissions procedure,” G. Marcus Cole, dean of the law school, said in the statement.
Experts told Reuters, a news agency, that the move was expected, and that other law schools may follow. They cite “ongoing uncertainty about the national applicant pool and concerns about access and equity.”
The press release also said that students are encouraged to show commitment to the program in their "Why Notre Dame?" application essay.