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Why is EA more selective than RD in some schools?

tchit87tchit87 75 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I am extremely confused as to why EA applicants have a lower acceptance rate than RD applicants at some schools. At Boston College for example, they make it clear that this is the case. Why do colleges do it this way? How many do it this way? For most schools, does EA application rounds have a higher acceptance rate than RD? How do I know which schools do which?

I wanted to apply EA to most schools that offered it because I thought it would offer me better odds and I could get it over with.
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Replies to: Why is EA more selective than RD in some schools?

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28773 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, BC has now gone ED. We’ll see how that goes.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1287 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would guess that it's because they don't know what the full applicant pool looks like, and they want to make sure that there are enough places left for the best applicants of the RD.
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  • drusbadrusba 9580 replies20 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Unlike ED, which creates an agreement that the accepted applicant will attend, EA admission leaves the college in the same position as Regular Decision, in that the applicant still has the option to go elsewhere and does not need to commit until May 1. The college thus does not gain the same advantage of assuring the applicant's attendance that it does with ED . The college therefore does not have the same incentive to accept more students EA that it has with ED, and it can wait on many EA applicants until the RD round when it sees the overall quality of all applicants.

    Nevertheless, though there are EA colleges like BC that have said it is harder to get in EA than RA, the admission stats do not actually show much of a difference. According to US News statistics, for last year, BC had a 33% admission rate for EA applicants and a 32% rate for RD, and thus the rates were close to the same with EA actually being a tad higher, and that is often true for many colleges that have EA. Thus, the fact that a college claims it is harder to get in as EA does not necessarily mean there is a significant difference. In fact, of all the EA colleges I am aware of which provide EA admission rates (many of the colleges but not all), the EA admission rate is higher than RD.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6478 replies51 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Georgetown is clear that EA gives no benefit nor do they claim that it is 'harder'. However, a recent AO told me that in practice they used EA to court really strong applicants who might be aiming "higher" by showing them love early and often.
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  • CUandUCmomCUandUCmom 33 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Georgetown's EA rate is lower than its RD rate (~ 12% vs. ~14%). From a policy/philosophical perspective, Georgetown is looking to identify the "cream of the crop" applying in the early round and is, therefore, more selective. It is important to note, though, that no one is rejected in the early round. Since it is not binding, my understanding is that Georgetown uses EA to identify its strongest candidates and send a message that they eagerly want those accepted candidates. To answer the initial question - how you will know which schools do which - you need to include that aspect of admissions practices in your research process and make your application decision accordingly.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33100 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Right, it's first pass and they can scrutinize to ensure those they do accept Early are the sorts they do want most, the best matches.
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  • drusbadrusba 9580 replies20 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 16
    I have seen the above-mentioned Georgetown admission percentages, 12% EA and 14% RD, published by a company called Toptieradmissions but I do not know where it gets them. US News, which purports to get the numbers directly from the colleges, gives an EA admission rate for Georgetown of 17.9% and an RD admission rate of 14%. On its site, Georgetown does say there is not an advantage to EA and that the EA and ED admission rates are "roughly similar." Interestingly, it also says that for any given year, it tries to admit EA at a rate that that is close to its actual overall admission rate from the year before. https://uadmissions.georgetown.edu/applying/early-action/#4. One of the best factors about Georgetown EA is that it never rejects any applicants during EA, they are either accepted or deferred to RA, and thus applying EA to Georgetown does not give rise to any risk of being rejected during the EA process.

    Relying on US News figures, I have not yet found any college that has an EA admission rate lower than RD. I am guessing there might be some because not all EA colleges provide EA admission figures to US News..
    edited July 16
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  • tchit87tchit87 75 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all. I will most likely apply RD to most schools (unless I really really research into admissions statistics) except Georgetown and my ED school.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1782 replies6 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 17
    Interesting differing comments above about Georgetown. FWIW, we were told at the info session (last year spring) that it is harder than RD because they only accept for EA the applicants that they absolutely know they would want regardless of what the rest of the pool looks like. I know this is not what it says on the website ....but it’s what they told us.
    edited July 17
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1782 replies6 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thank you all. I will most likely apply RD to most schools (unless I really really research into admissions statistics) except Georgetown and my ED school.

    If you apply to Georgetown EA, you cannot apply ED elsewhere.
    https://uadmissions.georgetown.edu/applying/early-action/#2
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