Should I even bother applying ED for Columbia University anymore?
Columbia University is my dream school, and the only one I want to apply ED. I want to go there without a doubt.
While my GPA is very qualified and extracurricular activities are well covered, my SAT scores didn't even break 2000 (they're within 1900s.)
Everything's getting rushed now (my fault for not being very aware of deadlines...) My guidance counselor and teachers have to rush writing my recommendations. My essay on the Common app is not as well-crafted as I hoped.
The only thing that really keeps me wanting to apply ED for Columbia U is the smaller pool of applicants (apparently 30% chance for ED applicants and 10% chance for RD applicants.) But if I'm giving them an application with rushed counselor and teacher recommendations, an okay essay, and 1900-ranged SAT scores, is it even really worth it anymore? Should I just try my luck with RD?
You are making a nuisance of yourself and prejudicing your chances elsewhere with a mediocre essay.
The mean and median SAT's at Columbia are in the 2200's. A solid ED applicant is one who has a 2250. You are way off! Further, you are wrong about Columbia ED & RD acceptance rates. Last year's overall acceptance rate ED & RD combined was just over 7%. You stand absolutely no chance of admission at Columbia either Columbia College or SEAS. You are a clear cut reject on ED.
What you can do is apply to Barnard College instead. However, Barnard is still a still reach for you. You should accept Barnard as substitute for Columbia. Barnard is just across Broadway from Columbia. Barnard students can and do take classes at Columbia, use the Columbia facilities and participate in activities at Columbia. Most people think Barnard is part of Columbia University. However, it isn't.
Lastly, DO NOT APPLY to Columbia RD either. The reason is that if you are rejected as a freshman applicant to Columbia College or SEAS, then you can't apply to General Studies as a transfer until 3 years later. However, you will definitely be rejected RD. Thus by applying RD you are also virtually extinguishing the possibility of entering as a transfer, where most transfer students at Columbia are in General Studies.
You should immediately tell everyone involved to hold up on ED deadlines and that you are not apply ED at all.
If you can get your act together for RD, I would wait and rewrite the essays and such and possibly take the SATs again and then go for it RD round. Remember, the 30% ED acceptance is for well qualified and competitive students. The ED round gives these students a better chances compared to the crapshoot that is RD Ivy admission. If, however, Columbia is your top choice and you don't plan on taking the SAT's again, go ahead and apply ED, because I doubt a better essay would make up for the decrease in acceptances RD round.
Apply RD instead. Honestly, if you have a wonderful application, then it won't matter whether you apply ED or RD (this is according to the Columbia representative that came to our school). If I were you, I would retake the SATs (if possible) and definitely rewrite my essays as best as I can and hope for the best because essays do play a significant role in admissions. Good luck!
Lol at the suggestion to apply to Barnard. Sure, if you don't mind the lower financial aid package and have enough self-esteem to not be offended by the stereotypes and lack of guys (and actually LIKE Barnard) then go for it. It's not that easy to get in though...acceptance rate's been going down as more people see it as a backdoor to a Columbia degree. Fit is important, though. I know someone who picked Barnard for that reason and is miserable, and wants to transfer to ND now.
As for Columbia GS, have fun not having housing, aid, being isolated from your peers, and being restricted from Core classes in addition to the Barnard downsides.
Anyway, to be honest, with JUST the info you've given, your chances sound low unless you're a URM applying to SEAS, legacy, or something like a nationally recognized musician or artist or actress. If you are, polish your essays and ED Columbia. If not, retake the SAT or ACT, get great grades this semester, redo recs, polish essays, and apply regular.