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Does applying EA/ED give you a higher chance of admission?

OoovooOOoovooO Registered User Posts: 420 Member
edited July 2010 in College Admissions
I will be applying EA to the schools that offer it, but as for the ones that only allow ED, I'm choosing to apply RD because there isn't really ONE school that I'm dying to attend. RD also allows me to compare financial packages and aid, so RD seems like the obvious fit for me. However, the only thing that bothers me is that I've heard ED gives you a better chance of admission than RD. Is this true?
Post edited by OoovooO on

Replies to: Does applying EA/ED give you a higher chance of admission?

  • glassesarechicglassesarechic Registered User Posts: 5,487 Senior Member
    I've heard ED gives you a better chance of admission than RD. Is this true?

    Yes. But if you don't have a first choice, that boost comes at the cost of comparing all of your possible acceptances.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,513 Super Moderator
    Some people say it does. The schools that do ED have held vehemently onto saying that it does not boost your chances of admissions, and that higher admissions rates during the ED round point to the self-selecting pool of students who apply early decision as opposed to regular decision. Here on CC common wisdom seems to be that it does, but I've never heard an admissions officer or prominent guidance counselor say that it does.
  • glassesarechicglassesarechic Registered User Posts: 5,487 Senior Member
    EA (and especially SCEA) pools are generally self-selecting and contain a higher concentration of legacies, athletes, and the otherwise hooked, hence the higher admissions rates.

    ED pools are self-selecting, but for a different reason--because everyone applying is willing to give up the opportunity to be accepted at other schools. Schools just under the tippy-topmost tier (Duke, Dartmouth, UPenn, top LACs) can manipulate their yield with ED applicants. SCEA acceptees, adcoms say, are accepted because they are applicants that would stand out in any admissions pool; the same isn't said of ED applicants. (Which isn't to say that the unqualified will be admitted ED, but that the statistically qualified--middle 50%--but otherwise unwhelming--aka, unhooked--applicant has a much better chance of being accepted in this round.)

    Think about it: An HYP-caliber student is likely to apply to range of top schools to increase his likelihood of being accepted at an HYPSM school. This student might apply to Yale SCEA, because if he is accepted early, he still has the opportunity to compare acceptances from other top universities. This same student, assuming he wants to get into the "best" school possible (and using my somewhat limited definition of best as HYPSM), is not going to apply to Dartmouth ED. The most competitive students are unlikely to apply ED.
  • harmoniumharmonium Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    So would you suggest not applying to one of HYPS Early Action unless he/she has a hook or is a legacy/athlete/published author etc.?

    If he is deferred from said school during EA is he looked at in the same pool as the rest of the RD applicants in the admissions process or is he singled out in a "this kid applied during early action too" kind of way?
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