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Merrimack admits Early Action and Early Decision Applicants

December 16, 2014
After a record number of applicants, Merrimack has invited the first members of the class of 2019 to take their places on campus for the fall semester. Admission decisions for early decision/early action were released Dec. 16 — online, for the first time in Merrimack’s history.

The number of early decision applications to Merrimack for the 2015-2016 school year soared a statistically significant 44 percent, and early action applications were up 12 percent compared to a year ago, Undergraduate Admissions Director Darren Conine said.

“This phenomenal rise in interest by young people tracks the rise in Merrimack’s value and reputation, which has been borne out by national rankings and by the enthusiasm of current students,” said Vice President for Enrollment & Retention David L. Hautanen.

Earlier this year, Money Magazine named Merrimack no. 21 in the country — out of more than 600 institutions — for “adding value” to students’ degrees. U.S. News named Merrimack one of the top liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, and the only one voted “up and coming” by academic peers. The college emailed students who applied for early decision and early action to check a special Application Status Portal, said Christina Doherty Edler ’05, director of enrollment marketing.

“We are excited with the increase in applications to Merrimack,” Conine said. “It reflects the momentum the college continues to experience. From our extensive list of academic programs and comprehensive career preparation to a multitude of experiential opportunities and a vibrant campus life, Merrimack is a great value and a college on the rise - a perfect place to spend the next four years.”

Acceptance was based on the schools to which the new students plan to enroll. So 23 percent of the admissions were accepted to the Girard School of Business; 36 percent to the School of Science & Engineering; 27 percent to the School of Liberal Arts; and 14 percent to the School of Education and Social Policy. The students accepted early decision and early action represent 10 countries and 27 states.

The admissions office is inviting 564 of the early decision and early action students to join the Honors Program. Merrimack hopes to yield 15 percent of admitted students to the honors program and is hoping that translates to 90-120 honors students between early decision, early action and regular admission, Conine said. Early decision requests are a sign of real love of the school, Conine said.

“They know Merrimack is the place they want to be at,” he said. “There are students out there who absolutely love Merrimack and they want to show their demonstrated interest.”

The early decisions are binding, and students commit themselves to attending Merrimack. Students and their parents agree to withdraw applications to other colleges or universities.

Early action gives high school students some focus in determining where they will attend college but it isn’t binding.

When reviewing applications, the admission committee considers a variety of factors, including academic achievement, strength of curriculum, community involvement, extracurricular activities, interviews, Common Application, essay and references, Edler said.

Students and their families who were accepted are invited to attend Admitted Student Days on Jan. 31, April 12 and April 18. They’ll have the chance to meet with faculty and other admitted students while learning more about campus life. Students are also being encouraged to join the Class of 2019 Facebook group to meet other students, ask questions, learn more about Merrimack while they enjoy the excitement of becoming a Warrior.

Acceptance through early decision or early action can relieve the pressure of applying for schools but even if a student isn’t accepted in early decision, their application can remain in the regular application pool.

Merrimack is still accepting regular decision applications until Feb. 15. Those decisions will be posted by the end of March.

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