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legacy admissions ED vs RD

premedrunnerdadpremedrunnerdad Posts: 6Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Brown University
I would appreciate some advice related to legacy admissions.

My S1 attends Brown now and absolutely loves it. My S2, now a HS junior, recently visited and it is now his top choice too. He would be happy to apply there ED and would not have second thoughts about it. He is very much a "Brown kid," (quirky, musical, intellectually curious) and has stats (3.85 GPA, 34 ACT, several SAT IIs above 700) that are competitive but not out-of-this-world. It is my understanding that Brown considers siblings as legacies, which would be wonderful for us, of course.

I have read many CC postings to the effect that legacy helps much more in ED than in RD at most colleges. However, I have read conflicting posts about that topic as it specifically relates to Brown. While several have stated that ED is a big advantage at Brown for legacies, one poster claimed to have "inside info" that legacies are admitted at about 33% in RD and 35% in ED. If that's true, which seems kind of hard to believe, then it's not clear that even kids for whom Brown is clearly their #1 choice would be smart applying ED. Unless every (non-binding) EA program was a much lower choice, the student should probably apply EA to a school he or she would be perfectly happy to attend (even if slightly less happy than Brown) and then apply RD to Brown. In exchange for lowering your admit rate to Brown by 2% you would be able to apply EA or SCEA (admit rates of 15 - 30% depending on the school) at another top school, and still attend Brown if you got into it in RD. Thoughts? Was that poster just conveying bad info?

Thanks.
Post edited by premedrunnerdad on

Replies to: legacy admissions ED vs RD

  • Sue22Sue22 Posts: 2,105Registered User Senior Member
    Correlation does not equal causation. Kids tend to apply ED to their reach schools, so the ED applicants cited may have poorer stats than those applying RD. The kids applying RD to Brown may be kids who applied ED to Harvard or Stanford or who are expecting to be able to compare competing RD offers from Ivies. If Brown is your son's clear first choice and you can afford it I'd encourage him to apply ED.
  • premedrunnerdadpremedrunnerdad Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Thanks, Sue22. That is interesting to consider, though I think it might run counter to what I have read elsewhere. The argument for why ED admissions rates are so much higher seems to be that stronger applicants tend to apply in ED. Perhaps you are correct that there is a unique dynamic with Brown ED. On the other hand, 35 vs 33% is hearsay at best so perhaps the issue/risk I am describing is not real. I agree that my son should probably just apply ED; it just would be nice to know whether those stats are real. I suspect there won't be an official answer from the admissions office on something like this.
  • Sue22Sue22 Posts: 2,105Registered User Senior Member
    premedrunnerdad-
    I don't have any evidence to back up my scenario. I was just thinking that knowing the admit percentages without knowing the strength of the applicants is not particularly useful.

    One of the reasons ED admit percentages in general tend to be higher is the relatively high numbers of recruited athletes and legacies applying ED relative to the RD pool.

    Another interesting thought-at some schools legacy families are cautioned that their kids will get the biggest boost during the ED round. I wonder if this might cause more kids for whom the school is a big stretch to apply ED, thus lowering the legacy ED admit rate. Kids who are strong candidates aside from legacy status might feel more comfortable taking their chances in the RD round.

    All of this is just thinking aloud on my part. It may simply be that at Brown the legacy boost is quite minimal. I have no particular insight into Brown admissions. I do have a child applying to another school as a legacy, so like you, I'm obsessing a bit over such questions. ;)
  • maria2013maria2013 Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    premedrunnerdad- Brown is one of the few schools that gives you the same legacy "bump" whether you apply ED or RD. Certain schools like Penn only give a legacy advantange for ED applications. So, your interpretation of the numbers and odds is probably correct. However, as schools move to taking a larger percentage of the class ED each year, you don't know from year to year if those numbers will change. Also, we hear about amazing legacy kids getting turned down all the time, so if Brown is really his first choice he should apply ED. At worst, he would probably be deferred and get a second chance at admission during RD. At best, he would be done and have a happy, relaxed senior year.
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    Just my personal opinion -- there are athletes and there are recruited athletes. There are legacies, and there are legacies who get accepted because they are legacies. In other words, legacy status is not particularly important unless there is a payoff. Sibling legacies are not as important, because one sibling will (according to the research) still financially support the university if the other is rejected. If both siblings are full pay, there is a higher likelihood that the second sibling will get in, because there is the possibility of money coming from the family.

    While I have never heard a Brown official state this, I've heard it from other schools. My D applied ED; I'm an alum. I do not expect her to get in based on legacy status. It is, I truly believe, a negligible factor in her application.

    Brown was her first choice,
    and she applied ED.
    and applied ED.
  • maria2013maria2013 Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    There is a program at Brown to help Alumni kids with the college admissions process - not necessarily Brown admissions, but college admissions generally. The women who work there are all amazing and all have work experience in various Ivy League admissions offices. They will answer off the record a lot of the questions raised in this post and in this forum. And there is a lot of misinformation on this site since people answer the questions based on guesses and not facts.

    I highly recommend using this service if you are eligible for it.
  • premedrunnerdadpremedrunnerdad Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Thanks to all of you for the thoughtful replies. I think he's going to apply ED for the reason that maria2013 identified. Thanks too for the heads up about the guidance I might be able to receive from Brown on this topic. I will pursue that.
  • BrownAlumParentBrownAlumParent Posts: 650Registered User Member
    I don't think that the alumni office extends that counselling advice to parents/students whose "legacy" connection is a sib currently there. (can always give it a try though.)
    Agree with all of the above. Legacy ED admit rates might seem lower than RD, but that is because there tends to be a higher percentage of legacy kids that their parents know that they might be a bit weaker than likely applicant, but they and parent want them to go to Brown and so try to "increase the odds" by ED application. Being legacy will not help a student who really doesn't meet the Brown admission criteria compared to other non legacy applicants (except for some special cases where the legacy connection is further strengthened by a likely sizable donation anticipated/ scion of the Provost etc). But Brown does want to admit legacy candidates when they can (including current sibs) when all other things are equal. So a legacy candidate should apply ED or not for the same reasons a non-legacy candidate would. (Legacies do seem to have a higher deferral rate rather than outright rejection. Maybe to help the parent feel less let down, in part.)
  • fireandrainfireandrain Posts: 3,313Registered User Senior Member
    one poster claimed to have "inside info" that legacies are admitted at about 33% in RD and 35% in ED.

    Wow. I've never seen that statistic, and I've seen lots of statistics in my 25+ years of interviewing for Brown. In fact, Brown has been very quiet in the last few years about the legacy acceptance rate.

    If Brown is your son's first choice, and you can afford the price tag, he should apply ED. My impression from the admissions office is that a sibling connection counts as legacy as much as a parent connection does. However, as Maria points out, many amazing legacies don't get in (I know of several).

    I also agree that legacy status at Brown seems to work equally in both ED and RD.

    And I'm pretty sure the alumni office will not provide college counseling to the sibling of a current student (it is a service offered through the alumni office for alumni).
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