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Should I apply early decision?

NovanoidNovanoid 2 replies2 threads New Member
I've been looking into colleges for a while now and recently I found out about early decision and how it can increase your odds of getting into a college. After first hearing about early decision I thought that I should definitely apply to Case Western early decision. In my mind this is the best school (close to me) that I actually have a shot at attending. However, after pondering this for a while I have a bit of a dilemma. I have always wanted to attend MIT and my dad encouraged me to apply just to see if I get in. The problem is, if I were accepted into MIT and Case I'd be forced to go to Case over MIT and, well, that wouldn't be an optimal situation. On the other hand, if I don't apply early decision and don't get into Case or MIT I'd be even more upset. I was also thinking of applying to Harvard since it's on the common app as well. Neither of my parents went to college, and I don't have siblings to ask, so any advice would be appreciated. Do I have a chance at MIT or Harvard? Should I even apply to MIT/Harvard? Right now I'm leaning towards early decision on Case still since the 96% rejection rate at Harvard and 94% rejection rate at MIT makes it seem near impossible to get in.

For reference I've taken/am taking the following AP classes: Chemistry, Physics 1, Physics 2, APUSH, US Gov, Computer Science A, Calc AB, Comp Gov, Psychology, Statistics.

GPA (4.0 scale weighted, unweighted) : 4.268, 3.972

I only was able to take the ACT once and didn't do too well so I was thinking of omitting that from my applications... my GPA is much better than my ACT score.

In terms of ECs I am in Science Olympiad and the NHS. I also tutor online and run a small educational YouTube channel which I periodically upload videos of projects of mine to. Corona ruined my other ECs that I had planned. I had applied to an internship to shadow a radiologist but that got cancelled.

If it matters, I'm white and from NE Ohio. I go to a public school. I intend to pursue a degree in physics or chemistry and maybe go to medical school (not sure yet).

Thanks for any advice.
15 replies
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Replies to: Should I apply early decision?

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 6062 replies97 threads Senior Member
    First things first....Does CWRU look to be affordable? Run the NPC here: https://case.edu/financialaid/resources/net-price-calculator

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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 693 replies3 threads Member
    So first of all, Harvard offers SINGLE-CHOICE early action only, which does not let you apply Early Decision anywhere and limits the schools to which you can apply Early Action. MIT and CWRU both offer non-restrictive early action, which means you can apply to both and even if you get in, the decision is not binding, unlike early decision.

    IMO, applying ED just b/c you want to go to a selective school is not a good reason. You should only be applying ED if you can afford the school, but more importantly, LOVE it, as you'll be spending the next four years of your life here. It seems from your post (correct me if I'm wrong,) that while you like CWRU, it's not your dream school, and that's fine: apply EA or RD and widely to other schools as well (safeties/matches) and wait and see what happens, rather than feeling in the future like you "settled" for a school that wasn't your top choice.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!
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  • NovanoidNovanoid 2 replies2 threads New Member
    Case is as affordable as any other school I'm looking to go to. And I wouldn't be applying to CWRU just because it's a selective school. It's the only school I've been able to visit so far and its location is very convenient for me. That being said, you're right in the fact that it's not my dream school, which would be MIT. I just don't think I have much of a shot at MIT compared to Case and since Case would be my second/third pick I'm not so sure I want to chance it. Thanks for your opinion though, I appreciate it. It's a lot to consider.
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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 693 replies3 threads Member
    edited September 22
    There's still an advantage to applying EA, but probably not as much as ED due to EA not being binding. IMO, as CWRU has ED2, to apply EA and you can always apply ED2 if deferred, especially b/c it's not your top choice. However, at the end of the day, the decision is up to you---good luck with whatever choice you make! :smile:
    edited September 22
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2899 replies15 threads Senior Member
    IMO, as CWRU has ED2, to apply EA and you can always apply ED2 if deferred, especially b/c it's not your top choice.

    I have seen this kind of recommendation before and I don’t quite follow the logic unless the student is actually denied from the EA school (and of course if the ED2 school is a clear favorite of the remaining options).
    If the EA school is a clear number one, and you were deferred, why would you commit somewhere else via ED2 rather than wait to see if you get into your #1 in the RD round?
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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 693 replies3 threads Member
    edited September 23
    @SJ2727 CWRU has EA AND ED 1 and 2. As it's not OP's first choice, I recommend them to apply EA and to apply ED2 if they still want to attend if deferred (and if accepted early to CWRU or elsewhere that they would be happy to go to, that's great, because they'll have more time to decide and compare schools!) :smile:
    edited September 23
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2899 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited September 23
    @SJ2727 CWRU has EA AND ED 1 and 2. As it's not OP's first choice, I recommend them to apply EA and to apply ED2 if they still want to attend if deferred (and if accepted early to CWRU or elsewhere that they would be happy to go to, that's great, because they'll have more time to decide and compare schools!) :smile:

    The post I responded to suggested to apply ED2 to cwru. If accepted ED2 to cwru it’s binding. No “more time to decide and compare”. No more chance to wait for first choice and see if accepted in RD round (as indeed your posts tell us you were)? Why give that up if it’s a clear number one?
    edited September 23
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  • Luckyjade2024Luckyjade2024 852 replies13 threads Member
    You can apply ED2 to Case if you don't get into your first choice.

    This past year my very close friend was accepted to every IVY he applied to (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia) along with Stanford and Caltech. He was denied by MIT.

    These top tier schools, even with perfect GPA and SAT/ACT are still extremely difficult to gain admittance to.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 8007 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Make it easy on yourself. Apply EA to all schools. It's your 2/3 choice and many, many kids don't even get that. You like the school and it's a good school. Chances of getting into MIT are very slim for everyone. The rejection letter is kinda cool.
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  • NovanoidNovanoid 2 replies2 threads New Member
    to apply EA and you can always apply ED2 if deferred, especially b/c it's not your top choice.

    I didn't know it was possible to apply EA and then ED2. So I could apply to EA and if I'm not accepted/am differed I could apply ED2? If so that might be a good idea. I could apply to MIT and Case early action and have a back up plan if I don't get into either (or get differed).
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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 693 replies3 threads Member
    edited September 23
    You should be able to if deferred, not rejected, (UChicago has this option,) but I don't see it referenced on the Defer FAQ (https://case.edu/admission/defer-faq ) so check with Admissions just-in-case. If it's not an option, you could always apply ED2 only (see the below article.)

    About applying ED or not, I found this article from the Dean of Admissions: https://case.edu/admission/features/admission-financial-aid/early-decision-right-you

    I found it interesting that they state the following:

    "Here’s the reality: A large portion of our applicant pool is “admissible”—in other words, they represent the accomplishments, motivation and preparation we value. But we can only make so many offers of admission as we build our incoming class. There simply isn’t room on our campus for everyone we would like to admit. During the Early Action and Regular Decision processes, about 40% of those “admissible” students make their way to being admitted. Virtually all “admissible” Early Decision I and II applicants are offered admission."

    Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!
    edited September 23
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30771 replies59 threads Senior Member
    If I were you, I’d apply EA to both MIT and Case. If you get into MIT, you can still apply to Harvard RD or any other school you please. If you also get into Case, you can wait things out with both MIT , Case, and any other schools, as to what financial aid and merit you might get, as much of that often comes out in the spring.

    If you get into Case but deferred from MIT, same scenario. You have Case as an admissions school now , and can apply as above to whatever other schools to see what shakes out. That includes Reach schools like Harvard as well as schools that might have money in the offering.

    If you are deferred by Case and MIT, that puts you into a whole other scenario. You have zero schools (unless you have acceptances from some others on an EA or rolling basis) , and you need to do some serious thinking about how much you want to go to Case. Though chances for a RD accept are about the same as EA , for MIT, that you are deferred by Case puts a lot of uncertainty into the situation that wasn’t there initially. Are you prepared to lose out on Case entirely, due to hopes of a Harvard or MIT or like school accept when you did not get a EA accept from Case? You might at that time. (If allowed—Check the rules) change your Case app to ED2. If acceptedED2, that ends your college application process IF case gives you an acceptable financial aid package Be aware that it is highly unlikely you get merit money ED from Case, and by accepting ED, you will have to withdraw your other applications and cannot compare scholarship or financial aid from other colleges at the end of the season.

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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 3119 replies5 threads Senior Member
    I wouldn't ED (1 or 2) anywhere unless it's a clear and affordable first choice. The suggestions to EA to both MIT and Case, assuming both universities allow that, is the way to go.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35855 replies404 threads Senior Member
    Wait a sec. The decision where to apply and when should only come after you understand if you match what *they* look for, in your full app. You need this understanding.

    Early apps have no better chance if you don't match what *they* want. It's not some ace up your sleeve. And matching is not just stats and a few activities.

    Sci Oly is good for STEM kids, but where's the depth *and* breadth these colleges expect? Tutoring and YouTube or a blog are not tips. Maybe you've got more and neglected to mention it. We don't know.

    "thinking of applying to Harvard since it's on the common app as well" Not how you do it.

    Have you been reading the MIT admissions blogs?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30771 replies59 threads Senior Member
    That’s the way a lot of kids do it, like it or not. Big question this time of the year is which college should get the ED or REA application. Most every kid zu know could not care less if Harvard is a match for them in what they want. If they get in, they’ll go for prestige sake.

    If someone wants to play that lottery, I say go on ahead. I’m not about to discourage anyone online. Actually, anyone who is really bent on applying to any college or program despite what I think (or know) about chances of acceptance , I’m not going to discourage. There may be something I’m missing. There is serendipity in this universe and sometimes you just gotta try or it bugs you that you didn’t. There is no shame in being turned down by HPYSMC. et al.

    The important part of all of this is to spend as much time on the affordable schools that you know will take you. If applicants cover that base, let them apply to the low chance schools all they want. That’s part of the reason they are so danged selective.
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