Early Decision - Impact on Merit Aid
Hi everyone - I realize there are lots of pros and cons of applying ED, but I want to focus on just one for the moment: Merit Aid. The question is whether applying ED could hurt a merit aid award since the college knows that the student/family are bound to attend if accepted.
A plausible situation would be a student that is a strong candidate at School X (a school that awards merit aid), and where School X is the candidate's clear first choice. Assuming all other considerations favor ED (such as affordability with or without the aid), does the student risk a lower merit award by applying Early?
If so it's sort of sad - one would hope it was the other way around, that colleges would be more generous rather than less generous with strong students that apply Early Decision. But I can see why they would be incented otherwise.