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The Plague of ‘Early Decision’

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Replies to: The Plague of ‘Early Decision’

  • MamaBear16MamaBear16 Registered User Posts: 1,019 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    Sending out blanket emails to RD applicants asking them if they are sure they don't want to switch to ED or ED2 is not something new. It happened often for the HS class of 2015 and was brought up many times on CC. I don't think it's really ED3, but the colleges are using the RD applications as an opportunity to get more kids to apply ED. There are all sorts of questionable tricks some colleges use to raise yield. One student I know was WL by both CWRU and WashU and then was contacted by phone by both colleges offering her a spot if she would commit right away (and this was before May 1st). CWRU even offered her a generous scholarship during that phone conversation.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,281 Senior Member
    In this cycle, my kid applied EA to Tulane, which has recently switched from EA/SCEA to ED1/EA/ED2.

    We got a bunch of clearly mass emails as each of the various deadlines approached -- apply ED1; apply EA; want to switch from EA to ED2, etc. Since Tulane was pretty safe for my kid, we took those as just informational and didn't really think about what potential strategems might be at work.

    If the ED2 invites are targeted and the school is reachy, I could see that becoming another layer of this casino game.
  • RustyTrowelRustyTrowel Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    In all these permutations, the constant is that the decision making (for both schools and students) is all moving earlier on the timeline. The old model that HYPS have traditionally used (SCEA) has assumed a reasonably well-functioning RD market on the back-end. Now, we are all ringside as RD withers away.

    In this new environment, I think students will be incented to get as many apps in queue at schools as fast as possible. For that reason, I think we will see the ED schools add EA as well as ED2 to their menus (i.e., the ED schools all copy Chicago). So if a typical kid does, say, 10 apps, then I think we could well see a lot of the following: 1-ED1, 1-ED2, 8-EA, 0-SCEA, and the whole thing (at the ED schools, at least) is wrapped up by the middle of February.
  • Sunny66Sunny66 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I wonder if the increase in ED2 and RDs/EAs being offered conversion to ED2 (ED3?) would lead students to avoid the OG ED, with the thought that they can convert to a form of ED later. I suppose the downside is at places like UPenn and Duke that give the biggest bump in ED and maybe less of a bump for later ED scenarios (if they add them).
  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    edited January 24
    Possibly, @RustyTrowel. However if UChicago cannot offer a genuine chance to its Non URM EA applicants, then EA won't be chased by the average highly interested (but not willing to commit) applicant. Or perhaps this has been a transition year and UC will go to pure ED/ED2 next year. It has climbed the USNWR ladder.

    And you may correct @Sunny66. It would not surprise me if top kids and their parents have to wait to receive a call after applying EA or RD and then leverage the school's request to convert app to ED in return for money as suggested has already happened per @MomaBear16, above. What would be next, private GCs becoming agents and fielding these calls on behalf of clients?
  • RustyTrowelRustyTrowel Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    @Sam-I-Am "What would be next..." is that the traditional admissions timeline collapses. The current timeline benefits students, and the theme of these changes we are observing is market power moving from students to colleges.

    It could work like this. Schools open up EA/ED1/ED2/RD on, say, August 1 and then read apps and make "offers" as soon as they are ready. "Offers" come in the form of EA to ED conversions (unless the student already applied ED, in which case they actually get an offer). The student gets, say, a month to act on any "offer," or the option expires and the school moves on. It would be like having a new round of ED each month as the old options roll off and the schools work down their list and send out emails with new offers.

    Imagine the financial pressure the first movers would put on schools that were slow to act. The least nimble schools end up securing too few full-pay students late into the year. Some could go bankrupt.

    @bluebayou, the last thing you have to worry about is a shortage of early admission options. Probably not what you were expecting though, as it will be the most dystopian game of early admissions musical chairs imaginable.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,071 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    Or perhaps this has been a transition year and UC will go to pure ED/ED2 next year. It has climbed the USNWR ladder.

    If UChicago wants to signal that it has climbed the USNWR ladder, they should switch to SCEA and stand apart from those "lesser" ED schools.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,071 Senior Member
    edited January 24
    @Sam-I-Am -
    EA is not supposed to be ED so let's see if those deferred EA applicants are treated fairly in the RD round at U Chicago. Hopefully deferred applicants will weigh in with outcomes on the applicable threads.

    Lets hope so, but I expect to hear from people who were offered to switch to ED2 or 3, declined the offer, and then were denied or waitlisted in the RD round. Makes me want to apply to a state school.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 23,891 Senior Member
    edited January 25
    the last thing you have to worry about is a shortage of early admission options. Probably not what you were expecting though, as it will be the most dystopian game of early admissions musical chairs imaginable.

    Huh? (I didn't know I was worried about early admissions.....) :-)
  • vandyeyesvandyeyes Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    Just a brief fup to the discussion; indeed S17, an early deferral from an Ivy and EA deferral from UChicago has been accepted ED2 to UChicago. We know of one other ED2 admission....also an earlier Ivy deferral.
  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 567 Member
    I have one kid who applied ED to a school where I felt he had no chance.
    Mercifully he was rejected rather than deferred, which was a mental relief so to me as a parent,
    so we could think about the many other good options that came through and not wait months longer
    to get that rejection. He got some good EA acceptances and in the end took a RD offer.
    But while waiting for that RD, he had what we considered very good EA offers in the pocket.
    So overall glad for EA, but in the end did not matter for us.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 770 Member
    We left it up to our kid to decide if he wanted to do an early decision application to any school, and only told him he should choose a school for ED ONLY IF he would go there over any other school if he got accepted. He himself chose Stanford for REA (after he told us that, we were mentally prepared for a rejection and told him "What the heck, if you get rejected, you can at least say you tried, so go for it."). He luckily got in and immediately stopped applying to any other school after that.
  • ARTCCARTCC Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Clearly it's not a "one size fits all". Our D, who is now a college sophomore at the college where she applied ED, visited four colleges, applied to three of them, including ED for what she considered was her "reach" and preferred college. She was accepted to all of the colleges she applied to, including two additional colleges she didn't visit.

    Unlike many of the snowflakes out there, to her credit, our D was very honest in her own self-assessment of her college choices and the chances she had for admission. As much as the college admissions officers seem to criticize sites like Cappex and Parchment, both were actually quite accurate in predicting her chances of admission. Of course, we completed the profiles honestly, too.

    Cappex assessed that her chance of admission to her "reach" college (which had a 31 percent admission rate overall) was in a band that ranged from the highs 60s to the high 70s percentile. Parchment assessed her chance of admission at that same college at 82 percent.

    Perhaps some would criticize her for not being more ambitious and applying for a college with a substantially lower chance of admission. Indeed, she applied to another college she visited (which had an overall 38 percent admission rate) which probably would have been her back-up. At that college, Cappex assessed her chances of admission in a band from the high 40s to the low 70s percentile and Parchment at 80 percent.

    She did receive recruiting letters from Stanford and the University of Chicago inviting her to apply, but to us, that was simply to boost their admissions statistics and further lower their admission rate. We assessed that her chances of admission to those colleges were very unrealistic and we didn't want to set up our D up for failure. We would not have stopped her if she close to apply, but we think she's was astute in her decision not to.

    Our daughter and we are very happy with our D's ED experience. Receiving the coveted ED admission letter before Christmas to her top choice college certainly made for a Merry Christmas and drama-free senior year in high school for our D and our family.


  • dodosoldodosol Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    According to what's written on another thread, at least two RD applicants got a special likely letter from UChicago. Is this some kind of ED3 discussed in this thread or do all likely letters have a similar "secure your place" option?

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-chicago/1964787-uchicago-likely-letter.html#latest
    "//
    "Congratulations! While official decisions are several weeks away, we couldn’t wait to share the good news. The admissions committee has reviewed your application, and I am pleased to extend to you a provisional invitation to join the University of Chicago Class of 2021. As long as you continue your strong performance and there is not a negative change in your record, you can expect to receive an official offer of admission in late March. From a group of highly talented and diverse applicants, you have distinguished yourself as a top scholar and are one of only a handful of students to receive this early offer."

    That's the first part of the letter... there is a option to reply to the offer and "secure your place" in the class.
    //"
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 16,425 Senior Member
    Never heard of that before!

    I'm not certain it's sinister. I can't read that letter as implying that there's a chance the student won't be admitted in March if he or she doesn't commit now, other than as a result of "a negative change" in the student's record. Such a change is kind of hard to produce between mid-February and mid-March, and if something that negative happens it would probably justify withdrawing a firm acceptance anyway. If the letter is only giving the student the option to commit now and to stop thinking about admissions, without any coercion, there's really nothing wrong with that.
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