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In the corner of the private school world I know best, the vast majority of the kids apply early somewhere, often ED. They're better prepared than the average applicant (due to that private school education and the opportunities it affords them), they have savvy college counselors who advise them that statistically they get an edge from applying early, and generally their families can afford to send them wherever they want to go. So they apply early to their top choice, and if they get in, they're generally done. They enjoy the rest of their senior year, take a fancy vacation over spring break with their similarly-fortunate friends, chill over the summer in some nice locale and roll off to college, ready to begin the next phase of their ascension to America's cognitive elite uberclass