Hi, I am a high school senior trying to decide where to ED. I have been stuck between my two favorite schools for some time now. Both schools are HIGHLY selective and I will have difficulty getting into either, so I truly need the admissions advantage that applying ED will grant me. One of my top two schools is an Ivy and I have a double legacy here. I have been visiting the campus and wearing apparel from the school's bookstore since I could walk. I have always loved the atmosphere of the school, the surrounding area, the distance from home, the unique academic programs... and really... EVERYTHING! Except, I am a year-round athlete. I have been playing my sport (swimming!! :) )since I was 10 and my ultimate goal has always been to play my sport in college. At this IVY league school, I know I would not be offered a spot on the team (I have looked into it, communicated with the coach, etc.), so this is my only "con"-- but it is a pretty significant one. At my other top choice school, I have been offered a spot on the sports team. This school is also highly selective and has the perk of D3 athletics. If I apply ED, I will have the coach's backing/ support which is supposed to help me in the admissions process. I have visited the school already and plan to go back for a recruitment overnight. I am really excited for this and I cannot wait to meet the team. I would LOVE to go to college and be a part of a sports team. In truth, I do not know what I would do without some type of athletics in my life. I like the campus, the school is a good distance from home, and the social scene at the campus seems to be in line with what I would want in a school. I know less about this school's particulars compared to the school I first mentioned, however. And, this D3 school (while excellent) does not carry the same cachet as the Ivy league school. So, I have a few questions:
Am I wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I do NOT ED to the Ivy? What is it like to be on a D3 (specifically NESCAC) athletic team? Is the experience (of being on a team) unmissable/ not something to forsake? Does anyone have experience giving up a sport in college-- if so, what are the perks and drawbacks of this? And, in general, is there any advice anyone could give me on this decision? Is there anything else I should be heavily considering?