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The Plague of ‘Early Decision’


Replies to: The Plague of ‘Early Decision’

  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 974 Member
    edited December 2016
    So for a kid with no interest in any other ED or EA school there's no issue? That was the situation of many family members. Couldn't figure out why it was a problem.

    Also why can't they apply to USC? That's not an EA school as I understand it. The school may give you an answer early if you apply by a deadline but might not. My understanding that this is not prohibited by SCEA.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 60,307 Senior Member
    notveryzen wrote:
    SCEA is a sucker bet because by the time you factor out the athletes, legacies, and hooked kids, the chance of admittance for the average superstar is barely any better. SCEA may bump you from a 3% chance to a 4 or 5% chance.

    Harvard comes right out and says at https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/application-timeline/restrictive-early-action :
    Harvard wrote:
    Harvard does not offer an advantage to students who apply early. Higher Early Action acceptance rates reflect the remarkable strength of Early Action pools. For any individual student, the final decision will be the same whether the student applies Early Action or Regular Decision.
    notveryzen wrote:
    But then you miss out on any ED schools or any of the large number of great private schools with EA or early scholarship deadlines.

    Stanford specifically states that applying to early deadlines for scholarships is allowed; HYP do not mention this.
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 974 Member
    edited December 2016
    As I said the statement about USC is incorrect. From USC website : "USC does not have an Early Decision or Early Action program. "
  • pickpocketpickpocket Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    edited December 2016
    It should go without saying that one should only apply ED/SCEA if two conditions are met: 1) kid is SURE they'd be thrilled to attend that school and 2) family has run NPC and concluded it is affordable.

    If student/family is sure of both these conditions, and has the motivation to get app prepared early, then they are entitled to the slight admissions edge and the possibility of an early acceptance.

    It is hardly a plague.

    @mathmom Of course sometimes kids change their minds about schools -- reassessment could be between Nov.1 (Early deadline) and May 1 (decision due), or between May and September orientation, or during freshman year. It happens. I don't think this is an argument for dismantling a system that probably 97+% of ED acceptees are very happy with.

  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,039 Senior Member
    SCEA may bump you from a 3% chance to a 4 or 5% chance.

    But a % of a % is a yuuuuuuge increase in chances. from 3% to 5% is a 66% increase! (yes, they are still really small odds)

    OTOH, since we're talking "bets"....the fact is that a couple of those SCEA schools have the most generous finaid. Thus, the potential $$ reward is higher than other need-based aid schools.

    Full disclosure: one of my kids was successful in ED (the other was not ready to commit to one), and the need-based aid was such that attendance of the ED school was less expensive than attending our instate public flagship.
  • notveryzennotveryzen Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    USC doesn't do ED but you have to apply before December to be considered for their big merit scholarships. And they have a lot of them.
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 974 Member

    "USC doesn't do ED but you have to apply before December to be considered for their big merit scholarships. And they have a lot of them."

    Yes. But applying SCEA does not prevent one from applying before December and getting one of those scholarships. Why would it?
  • pickpocketpickpocket Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    edited December 2016
    @notveryzen said
    That kid with the 5% chance at HYP maybe has a 30-40% chance of getting a large merit award at USC but can't apply in time for the deadline. That's a sucker bet.

    I don't think so. One can apply SCEA to Yale for example and also submit their RD app into USC by Dec 1 for merit consideration. Yale's website is clear that SCEA prohibits you from applying to other EARLY programs, but you are welcome to apply to any school's RD process at any time.
  • notveryzennotveryzen Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    Because the S in SCEA is for single and the R in REA is for restrictive. Meaning you can't apply to any other private schools until you get a decision. Stanford apparently has an exception but not sure about the others.
  • notveryzennotveryzen Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    Ok USC was a bad example. But that high stat kid who really wants to go to a top school, become an investment banker, and not spend his/her entire senior year wondering where they are going has two choices:

    Apply to Penn ED, UChicago, UM, ND, and a couple other EA schools and have a 30-50% chance of getting in somewhere before Jan 1st.


    Apply to Harvard with a 5% chance, wait for your deferral in December, then spend a month cranking out apps, then be miserable all Spring waiting for answers.

    It's still a bad bet.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 22,739 Senior Member
    If a kid applied ED, wouldn't he have the same issue with USC? And zen, I'm confused. Yours did or didn't apply ED?

    As some have said, the issue is when the desire for school X overrides common sense.
  • notveryzennotveryzen Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    Mine didn't do ED because it wasn't an option at his top choice (UChicago). But he refused to do HYPS because it would have closed him out from doing EA anywhere else.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 1,617 Senior Member
    UChicago started ED this year.

    Also with HYPS, you could do EA with public schools like Michigan.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,173 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    With accurate net price calculators, I don't think ED is a problem for students who need financial aid. When my eldest was applying the internet was not as developed. There were no online methods of estimating how much $ he'd get other than the FAFSA EFC. Even with an EFC and a general concept of the school's generosity, you couldn't predict institutional merit aid because that depended on your kid's strength relative to the applicants in the pool that year. Therefore, because we needed to compare FA packages, he applied EA (was deferred) and then RD. We'll never know if he missed out on a better admissions rate by not applying ED. Now there is far more disclosure about FA policies than there was then, so it's a lot easier to assess affordability in advance.

    My other two were recruited athletes and as such were basically required to apply ED if they wanted the benefit of coach support. Before doing so, they were offered financial aid pre-reads. D just got accepted ED, and her FA is exactly as promised. So we were able to go in with our eyes wide open, and it was great to be once and done.
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