Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Stanford REA vs. Brown ED

BrownfordBrownford Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
edited May 2011 in College Admissions
Hi Everyone,

As a soon-to-be senior, I am preparing my college list and respective applications for those colleges. At the top of my list are two high reach schools, Brown and Stanford. I intend to apply to one of them early, but I need some help deciding which one. This isn't a "chance me" thread, but here are some details anyways:

SAT: 2180 (awaiting scores and taking ACT)
GPA: 4.0 UW with 10 AP's, a class at Stanford, and a class at a community college by graduation

I really shine in my extra curricular activities. I have won numerous national photography awards, been published internationally in magazines such as National Geographic, started a successful photo business, shots tons of ads, photographed for modeling agencies and launched careers with the likes of Prada, started my school newspaper, founded a nonprofit that has raised tens of thousands of dollars by the selling of a photo book, volunteered a ton, etc.

I have visited both schools and am in love with each. Thanks to some very supportive parents, money isn't an issue.

Stanford is in my hometown and is gorgeous. Plus many friends of mine and members of my family go/have gone, so it's nice and familiar. Also I'm a legacy, so EA might help me a bit.

I intend to be a humanities major, and while Stanford's program in that area has certainly become stronger, you don't find too many people who apply to Stanford for humanities. I'm having a difficult time communicating it, but what I'm trying to say is that the programs that are better for me are at Brown. Also, if I were to be rejected, I wouldn't be able to demonstrate as much interest for Brown because I will have missed out on ED there, which could potentially put me in the waitlist pile.


Everyone--including Brown students, faculty, alumni, etc.--tells me that I am, in their words, "so Brown." And I agree--the learning and social atmosphere are pretty perfect for me. I love Stanford equally, but I feel as if I am "more" Brown if that makes any sense at all. Applying ED to Brown could demonstrate my interest and give me that extra edge.

I absolutely adore Brown, but I'm sort of afraid to essentially seal my fate for the next four years if by some miracle I happen to be accepted. Also, while I am enamored with Providence and the surrounding area, Stanford is in my hometown and I enjoy its familiarity. Moreover, I'm worried that if I am rejected and apply to Stanford RD, this will sort of nullify my legacy status in a way (as usually legacies seem to apply early action to demonstrate interest).

In short, Brown = programs that suit me better/more people like me, Stanford = location/legacy. Ultimately I would be super happy at either school, but I'm just thinking strategy here.

Any thoughts?
Post edited by Brownford on

Replies to: Stanford REA vs. Brown ED

  • hardlyworkinhardlyworkin Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    i dont know too much about admissions, but i have heard that MANY legacies apply to stanford REA and i have heard of phenomenal legacies (and i mean 2300+ and tons of extracurrics) being turned down early so i dont know if that would be the way to go. and i feel like you would have a good shot at brown ed, but dont apply ed unless you for sure know in your heart of hearts that you would choose it over stanford. maybe apply to both regular?
  • originalthoughtoriginalthought Registered User Posts: 377 Member
    If you really feel the same way that you communicated over the internet about Brown, apply ED to Brown. It's simple: there's no need to really game the system, just apply early somewhere that you'd like to go.
  • Aj1410Aj1410 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    Since youre so fond of Brown, I really think you should apply ED. Whatever happens, you will not lose your legacy status at stanford, and , i've often heard and seen that stanford REA is tougher than stanford RD.

    I also know of people in a similar situation who were accepted to both and chose brown because its better at the liberal arts and humanities..
  • YaleGradandDadYaleGradandDad Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    My sense is admission to Stanford REA is significantly tougher than Brown ED. If you are concerned that you will lose your legacy points (which are worth very little at this level) by applying to Stanford RD, you might want to call the admissions office and ask them if that extra consideration if offered equally to REA and RD applicants. I know that UPenn is very clear that legacy only benefits ED applicants.
  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    "Stanford is in my hometown and is gorgeous. Plus many friends of mine and members of my family go/have gone, so it's nice and familiar."

    That is probably one good reason to apply to Brown EA. Stanford will be there for you (and you can still apply RD), but 'nice and familiar' is not what college should be about. It should be about pushing your boundaries and trying something new. Sounds like Brown is a better 'fit' culturally as well and has more programs that interest you.
  • BrownfordBrownford Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
    Thank you for all of your thoughts. It's interesting to me that you say the EA field is tougher for Stanford...do you think applying ED to Brown could significantly improve my chance by demonstrating interest?

    I realize I should be thinking apply early where I want to go...but I truly feel I would be enormously happy at either school. The issue now is getting in, especially given the vicious nature of the cycle this past year, and I am trying to plot accordingly to maximize my chance.
  • kellybkkkellybkk - Posts: 384 Member
    Your background and stats are great, but (and it's amazing how few people accept this), Stanford is ALL ABOUT THE SPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! To succeed SCEA at Stanford you're hook HAS TO BE A SPORT in which you compete at the State or National level. Stanford believes -- more than any other top school -- that the kind of psychology that leads one to be top in a sport is the kind of psychology they want to promote among their student body. Brown, on the other hand, could care less about sports, so if you have only one EA shot, and you aren't an athlete, make it Brown.
  • BrownfordBrownford Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
    I actually am a nationally ranked athlete..In my stupidity and haste, I just completely forgot to mention it.
  • kellybkkkellybkk - Posts: 384 Member
    I actually am a nationally ranked athlete..In my stupidity and haste, I just completely forgot to mention it.

    Good -- then Stanford is easy. Of course, this presumes that you have had the foresight to contact the coach of your sport at Stanford and provide them with your bonafides. Of course, this presumes that you have been on their radar since Sophomore year in your sport (which you would have been, if you are ranked).
  • BrownfordBrownford Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
    But even so, being nationally ranked in a sport/on a coach's radar doesn't guarantee my acceptance.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to the extent to which applying Brown ED is more advantageous--statistically or otherwise--than RD?
  • YaleGradandDadYaleGradandDad Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    Think of applying ED as a quid pro quo. You are giving up the right to explore other admissions options and financial aid packages and getting a quicker admissions decision and an absolute admissions advantage. The school is improving their selectivity stats (yield), grabbing some who they would lose to other more competitive schools, and probably taking students who need less aid. The admissions statistics will say the acceptance rate is much higher in the ED round although those numbers are skewed upwards becasue of hooked candidates and a likely stronger applicant pool. Nevertheless, I have never seen a school state that there is no ED admit advantage. There is the general consensus on CC that Stanford's REA round has an admissions disadvantage (ie. harder to get in than RD) but you sound like the type of applicant that may be very successful in this round.
  • soomoosoomoo Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Sat in on an admission information session with S2 this past March at both Brown and Stanford.

    At Stanford the representative told us there is absolutely no advantage at applying EA. The acceptance rate is higher but the applicant pool is much more competitive.

    At Brown the representative told us there is a definite advantage to applying ED.
  • BrownfordBrownford Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
    Thank you for all of your replies, especially yours, YaleGradandDad. I have a lot to consider...I have gotten almost no arguments in favor of Stanford early, and I do think the ED status could help tip my application favorably. But at the same time, I still have reservations...if I did get into Brown ED, I think I'd definitely wonder "what if" despite how much I enjoy the school.
  • phantasmagoricphantasmagoric Registered User Posts: 2,200 Senior Member
    If you have any misgivings about being bound to attend a school that you're accepted to ED, then you should not apply ED. Remember you don't need to apply to any school early; early programs are for those who are certain that the school is their first choice. Applying early for any other reason is gaming the system. (Unfortunately, doing such has become so common, especially on this site, that people forget it's disingenuous to apply early for any other reason - they see it as "wasting" your early application if you don't apply somewhere early.)

    I'm pretty certain that applying EA or RD to Stanford will not have any bearing on their consideration of your legacy status. For one, legacy status is barely a consideration at all. Contrary to popular belief, it does not help you out much; at Stanford, the overwhelming majority are rejected, and the higher acceptance rate for them would be roughly the same if they didn't consider legacy status at all (legacies tend to be the most prepared/privileged, so their applications are generally stronger on average).

    As you might know, Stanford admissions is committed to giving as many SCEA applicants a final word as possible, and deferring as few as they can. I've heard (and seen) that if a legacy isn't a definite "admit" in the early round, they're more likely to be deferred than rejected. I think that's most likely because they are on the cusp of admission, are really qualified, etc. and Stanford genuinely does want to review their application again, rather than because Stanford wants to "let you down easy" and "courtesy defer" (something which the admissions office seems adamantly opposed to).

    That said, I think you stand a pretty strong chance of being admitted to Stanford SCEA. Not only are you an abnormally strong applicant, but Stanford is undergoing an expansion of its arts programs and is recruiting more arts students, of course only the very best ones. I think you'd fall into that group.
    I intend to be a humanities major, and while Stanford's program in that area has certainly become stronger, you don't find too many people who apply to Stanford for humanities.

    I've found the opposite to be true. 15-20% of the students major in the humanities, so I'd say a large portion do apply to Stanford for its humanities. Stanford's ranked in the top 5 or 10 in almost every humanities discipline (which hasn't really changed; humanities at Stanford have been at the very top for a long time), and places in the top 5 in world rankings for humanities. So it's not surprising that people are attracted to its humanities offerings.

    Stanford also has a strong photography program under Film & Media Studies.


    Fun fact: Doug Osheroff, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, teaches an introductory seminar on photography for freshmen (a class capped at 15 students).
    Good -- then Stanford is easy.

    That's very false; just being a nationally ranked athlete does not make admission to Stanford easy. The acceptance rate for such athletes is roughly the same as the overall admission rate.
  • kellybkkkellybkk - Posts: 384 Member
    The acceptance rate for such athletes is roughly the same as the overall admission rate.

    No, it's not.

    The fullback at our school with a 28 ACT and 3.3 GPA was accepted with a likely letter in Junior year. All other applicants, many who later would go to Ivies and had legacy Stanford parents, were rejected. None were athletes of any note.

    Stanford is HUGE on Athletics. Don't step up to this forum and mislead people. HUGE on Athletics. It is, at heart, a Pac10 school.
This discussion has been closed.