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ED1 v ED2

CTDadof2CTDadof2 78 replies12 threads Junior Member
Since my last child did the admissions rodeo a 2nd ED round has been added to the mix. Is there an advantage to applying to a school ED1 v ED2? The reason I ask is my son's 2 top choices both offer 2 ED rounds and I was thinking he should apply to Choice 1 (a high reach, with an average SAT score 250 points higher than what my son has) ED1 and if he gets rejected, apply to Choice 2 ED2 (whose GPA he matches but his SAT is still 100 points shy of their average). Choice 1 is a real long shot but my son also really likes Choice 2, which is much more realistic, and might actually be a better fit for him overall. I don't want to squander the advantage of the ED round for Choice 2 if ED2 isn't as advantageous as ED1. Does anyone have any experience with the 2 ED rounds who could share their thoughts or opinions? Thank you.
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Replies to: ED1 v ED2

  • washugradwashugrad 1140 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure there's a blanket answer to this. I was at one admissions session (Vassar) where the adcom said that ED 2 was meant for kids who needed a little more time to get their application done and/or wanted their first semester grades to help boost their application (ie, thought senior year was going to help boost GPA, etc). One parent asked about whether people did ED 2 when they'd done ED 1 at a different school and gotten rejected and he said that, yes, that happens as well. I'm not sure there's enough data across the board to say that, yes, you should use your ED 1 slot for the more likely school.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1958 replies6 threads Senior Member
    The (few) schools we asked about this all said there was no advantage to one over the other, and that ED2 was mainly for those who wanted extra scores to submit in support of their application (for example many high schools will only have semester 1 grades in time for ED2, not ED1].. Both are binding so from the college perspective it’s the same benefit of locking the student in. Obviously from the applicant’s perspective, ED1 (If successful) is better as ED2 deadlines are generally the same as RD ones so you still have to do all your RD applications as well.

    My daughter had an ED2 app ready to go as backup for if she got rejected from her ED1 school - from what her counselor says, it’s not unusual to use ED1 for the lower chance school and then have the better chance one for ED2 if the longer shot doesn’t pay off.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29618 replies58 threads Senior Member
    That is always the conundrum one faces with ED when not going for the clear first choice school. The purpose of ED is for students to cut to the chase and let a school know, it’s the one and only if accepted. The school gets a sure thing in return.

    It has morphed into strategy these days, to get an edge for selective school admissions. The schools can increase their selectivity percentages and protect yield.

    So, you get trade offs when you go ED, especially when you aren’t going the one and only route ( you still run some of this risks when it is your top choice, as buyers remorse can set in there too, and people do change their minds)

    Though ED and often even EA, heck early anything, usually means an increase in acceptance chances, at most schools, especially selective schools, it means a bit of an edge. Someone at the brink of the 25% mark of test scores, can increase their chances because there are simply more open seats. Usually, the ED kids have academic stats very close to the RD bunch unless they are in a tagged group like recruited athletes that also often are ED acceptees. Also a lot of the ED kids have great stats, and are really on the ball— ready with their test scores and grades, apps, recs etc . This is a tough crowd. SAT scores 250 points below the average makes me pause. Depending upon the school, that’s a pretty big bump you are expecting from ED. Even that other school with 100 points shy of the average is a bit of a stretch for ED advantage IMO.

    My last kid who did ED was on the edge of the upper 25% of the accepted kids in terms of test scores, and solid everywhere else as well. I still wouldn’t have bet much that he was going to get accepted. I certainly felt it was still a reach. Seeing kids with better stats than his rejected made me feel that he truly needed that ED edge. No telling for sure, of course and getting Non hooked applicants stats to compare just isnt possible. The Harvard data that is out now, about as close as we can get.

    I have been told that ED1 and 2 tend to be handled the same way. Not easy to find the accept rates broken down between the two, and in such small populations, trying to distinguish the impact of hooked applicants like legacy and recruited athletes which can be significant, makes it impossible to get s true reading.

    The way I look at it, as with most things, it depends upon the situation. As a general rule, the earlier, the better in that the colleges have empty rooms they need to fill. It’s a fresh new season and Admissions Officers Love admitting kids. The ones I’ve known tell me that it’s agonizing to them having to defer or turn down great kids, but when you are out of space and there are just so many, too many qualified applicants, that’s the ugly and painful part of the job. So, the psychological advantage is there for early applicants. Being one of the first dancers, runners, pianists etc, first with that particular essay subject , right there to fill the need for an oboist in the student orchestra, get those bodies into the classics or Lsnguoge department that the dept heads are bugging you about. By ED2 a bit of the newness is off, the Adcoms have gone through that first batch of apps, some needs already filled and things are beginning to look familiar in those applications rather than fresh. So, a lot of reasons for ED1 to have advantages.

    But then situationally, it can be otherwise. Maybe the ED1 wave was light on certain things the school wants, so more bend given when it shows up ED2 to get that nailed down. So the handling of ED2 can be very dependent on what was in the ED1 crowd.

    ED allows the Adcoms to get certain wish list items done in terms of types of students, so they can get down to a very brisk business when they are hit with the onslaught of RD apps.



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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78686 replies698 threads Senior Member
    Note that ED serves another purpose -- if the applicant is "overqualified" for a first choice college that uses "level of applicant's interest" to reject or waitlist applicants who appear to be using it as a low-choice "safety", then applying ED is the strongest possible way to show interest.
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  • CTDadof2CTDadof2 78 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Appreciate everyone's feedback. My son retook the SAT and increased his score by 130 points, so now he's right on target GPA and SAT-wise for Choice 2, where he will submit his ED1 application.
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  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 647 replies2 threads Member
    I always feel ED2 doesn't offer too much of an edge because by the time of ED2, the school should have filled a lot of seats with ED1 and it can be more picky now.

    BTW, I think OP's son made the right decision by ED1 to choice 2.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1958 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Some colleges pick the best of the ED1 pool, and defer others to ED2 and then choose - so it’s not always automatically the case that most slots are filled in ED1. I think the benefits of ED2 at various colleges differ and are certainly less clear-cut than the benefits of ED1, but that’s not to say they are always worse.
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