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College Early Options

Hey everyone, so I’m applying to college this fall with many of you, my fellow peers. I visited multiple schools, and my favorites were Yale, UPenn, and Duke. My original plan after talking to my class of 2019 high school friends was to ED to Duke, which they say a student like me has a really good shot of getting in early. But in visiting these schools, I absolutely love UPenn and Yale as well. My dilemma now is do I want to go for that reach with Yale and jeopardize my chances of getting into either UPenn or Duke, or should I play it safe and apply to a UPenn or Duke? This question is mostly posed toward people who have been through this process before. Another thing. I really want to know what schools I will get into in the spring, but also want to have a “very high chance” of getting into a top school. Thanks.
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Replies to: College Early Options

  • onthewestfenceonthewestfence 260 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @hexer12 Don't waste that magic bullet. An expression you'll see here often is to "love the school that loves you." Love the ones who accept you.
    Since many of the schools you prefer have extremely low acceptance rates, use your ED wisely. Otherwise, EA and RD are available.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30026 replies59 threads Senior Member
    THAT is the conundrum of ED. If you have a clear favorite school, it’s wonderful. You give yourself a bit of a boost in acceptance by locking it in early. Also saved you the trouble snd expense of going through the full admissions gauntlet.

    Your problem is that your favorite school is Yale. But your chances are still very very low in getting accepted there even early. Your chances are better applying ED to Penn or to Duke. The only one who can decide what to do is you because there are trade offs in risks. You know the situation. There is no best answer to this.

    Some kids I well knew who were top drawer prospects, were deferred from their early applications which really made for bleak holidays and a long nerve wracking 4 months. One did get into his first choice school after the deferral and was rejected from his next to the top choices RD. One of the schools was Penn where he lost his legacy hook by applying RD there. That hurt. The other was deferred EA and rejected during the regular cycle. Also rejected from his second choice school RD But he did have other excellent choices. His second choice school was also so selective that it was really a lottery ticket even early,

    The solution hinges greatly on how you feel, your emotional state in terms of possible outcomes.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1837 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Best to have a solid assessment of your stats. If you are REALLY outstanding in every sense ( need some national/international things here, not local) then go for it. Otherwise, think carefully about where you spend your time and talent.
    Someone who has perfect stats, amazing ECs with recognition at the national level and amazing recs has a shot. Someone with excellent grades, top 10% scores and local EC's has a very low chance. Do you play at sport at the national level? Do debate and made the TOC and was a finalist? Entered a major science competition and won? These are the people getting in ED, otherwise it's a miss.
    Ask yourself if you are really going to stand out among 20 top students. Some kids can. But it's pretty rare.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1838 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I advise people not to apply ED, unless
    a) the school is their clear #1 choice after careful comparisons with other potential schools; and
    b) financial consideration is relatively unimportant.

    ED generally does give you a better admission boost than EA or SCEA/REA, but you also give up a lot for that boost. The schools that only offer EA or SCEA tend to be more attractive both academically and financially for most top applicants.
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  • vonlostvonlost 19273 replies15808 threads Super Moderator
    1NJParent wrote: »
    b) financial consideration is relatively unimportant.
    If the NPC shows that the school is affordable and you don't want to compare awards, then it's relatively unimportant.
    ED generally does give you a better admission boost than EA or SCEA/REA, but you also give up a lot for that boost.
    One thing you give up with successful ED: The need to write more applications.
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  • 3SailAway3SailAway 594 replies7 threads Member
    Have you made “bird in the hand” type decisions before? Are you a “could’ve, would’ve, should've” person?

    If you don’t have financial considerations, then think about your personality. For example, once my D19 makes a choice (to take a certain class, job, trip) she doesn’t look back. She embraces her decision as the right thing, meant to be, and goes for it 100%, which made her a good candidate for ED.

    She had three academically strong schools she really loved. We revisited and a favorite emerged. It was not the most prestigious or highest ranked, but she felt very comfortable and happy there, so, she applied ED and was thrilled to be accepted.

    She is thriving there, and completely sure she chose the right school.

    Personally, I think she would have felt the same way if she had decided a different school of the three was “the one” and been accepted. She primed herself to look for the positive and she committed wholeheartedly, which made it unlikely that she would have regrets.

    I would ask yourself whether you have this type of outlook before applying ED.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30026 replies59 threads Senior Member
    @3SailAway , you are so right! There are folks who make themselves and others miserable with the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” routine so that one tries to minimize the impact of that. But you lose thatchy regardless because you can skip ED and not get accepted anywhere and then obsess over the lost opportunity of legacy boost ED at Penn , for instance.

    My friend was really upset when her son was WL at Penn( legacy) after choosing to EA MIT and deferred there. If he had not been accepted RD, she felt thatbtheyd all be hurting. Yes, it’s not only a first world problem but a luxurious, privileged one, but caused stress in those involved.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1893 replies33 threads Senior Member
    "I really want to know what schools I will get into in the spring, but also want to have a “very high chance” of getting into a top school."

    I don't think anyone has a "very high chance" of getting into Yale, UPenn, or Duke. SCEA/ED might help "hooked" applicants some but likely gives little if any advantage to the "unhooked".

    With that said, in 2018 Yale SCEA rate is 13.9% (794 accepted), Duke ED was 18% (860 accepted) and UPenn SCEA is 18.5% (1,312).

    IMO, UPenn would be your best chance for early action in both acceptance rate and pure numbers of accepted 1,312 vs. 794 Yale or 518 more acceptances.

    The other option is roll the dice at your top choice college, Yale. You only get one shot at an undergrad education, make the most of your opportunity.
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  • 3SailAway3SailAway 594 replies7 threads Member
    edited September 2019
    If you have a more ruminating personality like @cptofthehouse ‘s friend, you could try cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ve honestly found that it can help with reframing and letting go.
    edited September 2019
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  • mamamiagainmamamiagain 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the great thoughts shared here.
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