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Restrictive Early Action

Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
So, on my college list, Stanford is the only private school that does Restrictive Early Action - the rest only do Early Decision. Stanford is my dream school, and I do want to apply EA to my top public schools (Georgia Tech and UMich). First off, do you think this is a good strategy? Should I continue to go with Stanford REA and EA to my top Public Schools? Or should I ED to my second favorite school Columbia and RD the rest? Secondly, my SAT Subject Test results come out October 18th, but I can't find any specific subject test deadlines for Stanford. Their SAT deadline is October, which I'm taking, however, I don't know if that extends to SAT Subject Tests as well. Finally, the Valedictorian of my class is REA to Stanford. Our ECs and Scores are almost identical, but he has the highest GPA. Does this change my strategy, and should I RD instead when no one else from my school would be applying? Thank you guys!

Replies to: Restrictive Early Action

  • ab2002ab2002 Registered User Posts: 618 Member
    If you don't think that you could get in versus your valedictorian, I am not sure if I would waste your early plan. If Stanford does not like your essays, you can pretty much wish it away, even if the valedictorian bombs it. They have plenty of students to fill their class. In my opinion, your ED school should be a school that you know you could possibly get into RD and really want to go to. ED will boost your chances at almost every top school. I would pick very wisely.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    Are your test scores at least in the 50th percentile for Stanford (1500+, 33/34) and are you in the top 3-5% of your class? Can you demonstrate quality of participation, achievement and/or leadership in your EC's. If not, I think you are wasting your EA/ED bullet. BTW, you can apply Columbia ED and EA elsewhere (as long the EA is not restrictive like Stanford's). BTW, Columbia's standards are not going to be materially lower.
  • Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    ab2002, my valedictorian and I both have the same composite ACT and same Subject Test Scores (both 800 different tests though). His ECs are slightly better than mine, but I'm also a much better writer than he is. He has the GPA advantage and slight EC advantage (essentially due to him being an Eagle Scout), while I have the essay advantage. I'm just wondering if I should go head-to-head with him, as they look at applications from the same school in groups, or wait until RD and be by myself. Also, he's Asian, and I'm White. Don't know if that affects anything, but I've heard conflicting things about race in the admissions process. Stanford is most definitely the school I really want to go to, and I do have a chance, although it's slim as pretty much everyone's chance is at Stanford.
  • Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    BKSquared, yes, I have a 34 composite and 35 super scored, and I am in the top 2% of my class. I'm going to apply to Stanford no matter what because it's my dream school, and I fit within the ranges. I just want to know whether it's better to REA against another student from my school or RD just by myself. I know Columbia isn't much easier. They're both my reach schools that I have, while my more target ones are the like Georgia Tech (in-state for it). Also, thanks for the tip about Columbia ED.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,943 Senior Member
    Columbia's standards may not be materially lower, but their acceptance rate is higher and ED gives a greater advantage over RD at Columbia than REA does over RD at Stanford.

    FWIW, in my daughter's year (HS class of 2017), *nobody* -- including the Val -- at my D's school got in to Stanford REA, but two kids (my D included) got in RD. I don't have much reason to say this, but my gut tells me that -- recruits and legacies aside -- Stanford might like to cherry pick from the larger pool of RD students than a smaller pool of REAs.

    Unless you're a sports recruit, legacy, or development case, I'm not sure how much of an edge REA will give.

    That said, I tend not a big fan of ED. I would only encourage a student to apply ED to a school if -- and only if -- the following is true: 1) the school is affordable and/or finances are not a consideration; and 2) the student would be elated to attend without any "what if?s" or "if only..."s.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    edited September 13
    I think more likely that you will be compared against other applicants in your region vs head to head with the valedictorian. If you are going to apply to Stanford regardless, I wouldn't base your decision REA vs RD on when your classmates applies. Also remember if you get into any school ED, you would have to withdraw your Stanford app. Only you can answer the question if you would have any regrets in that case. The good thing about Stanford REA is that you leave all your options open. You do give up a potential ED boost somewhere else. Definitely stick to the plan and apply early/rolling admissions to GTech and perhaps some other flagship matches or low reaches. My S rolled the dice, even with athletic recruit ED's in the bag at some great schools, to pursue his dream school REA. He did have an acceptance into an honors program at a flagship already secured, so he had a decent fallback. It worked out for him and he got in REA. Can't say if it had not worked out for him if he would be regretting that decision. No perfect answers.
  • Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Thank you guys for your input. I'll still have to think about these things, but you've helped me to consider more options than I had previously thought of.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,811 Forum Champion
    1) Can you afford Stanford?
    2) Are your stats in line with Stanford?
    3) I would say to apply to Stanford if the above are true, and have other back up colleges ready to go.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,026 Senior Member
    How many students did Stanford accept from your school in the past?

    I would also agree about not worrying about others in your school are doing. You will be assessed against a much large pool.

    IMO, if Stanford is your dream school, apply REA.
  • Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Just in case you guys do care, I've made the decision to REA to Stanford. I slept on it and thought about it today, and I think it'd be the best route for me.You guys really helped me make the decision, and I can't thank you enough for your input.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 626 Member
    anecdotal data point. My S was in a very similar position. Both he an the Val had 4.0 unweighted gpa, but Val had higher weighted gpa (more AP classes). The Val also had much higher visibility ECs. Our S felt he a far better writer. S is now at Stanford. The choice on how to proceed, for him, was hard to make and came down to the wire. Good luck.
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