“Congratulations!”

Andrew Boland, a senior at Rockford High School, located about 200 miles west of Ann Arbor, cracked a smile as he read the first word of the e-mail from University Admissions, announcing his acceptance.

“I was really excited because Michigan was the place that I’ve always wanted to go,” Boland said. “It’s a prestigious school, it’s where I want to be, and I’m happy to be going there.”

Boland was one of nearly 23,000 early action applicants, marking a 4-percent increase from last year’s batch of prospective students. Last year, the University received about 22,000 early applicants — a larger bump from the previous 19,000 early-action applicants.

Complete data detailing the number of applicants admitted, deferred and denied will not be available until the admissions process is complete.

Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions, wrote in a statement that early action gives applicants more time to evaluate their prospective options — which may contribute to its popularity.

“Applicants appreciate knowing about their admission status before the semester break,” Spencer wrote.

The University moved from using a custom application to the Common Application in 2010, resulting in a much larger number of applicants, according to Spencer.

“(It) makes it very convenient for students to apply to more than one of their top choice schools,” Spencer said. “This sometimes generates more choices and variables to take into account than in previous years.”

Erica Sanders, managing director of undergraduate admissions, said in an e-mail interview last year that the increasing magnitude of applicants might yield more Early Action deferrals.

While some students, like Boland, opened e-mails welcoming them to the University’s class of 2018, others were not as fortunate.

“Our high application volume, coupled with the very strong credentials of our applicants in recent years, has contributed to an increasingly competitive admissions process,” the deferral letter reads. “As a result, we are writing to inform you that your application is currently being deferred for further review.”

According to the letter, all final admissions decisions will be released no later than April.

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