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Is Your ED Acceptance Good News or Bad?

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3019 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
The Good News: You got in.
The Bad News: You got in.

While many seniors are relieved than an affirmative decision in the Early Decision round means that the arduous college process is over, there are always queries in my inbox from students who are having second thoughts about an ED acceptance. The regrets are typically fueled by one or more of these reasons:

1. “I could have gotten more money” ... or even “I already DID get more money” when an Early Action or Rolling Admission school came through with a fat merit scholarship before the ED outcome was final.

2. “I could have done better.” Some students use the Early Decision advantage to secure a spot at a school where they know they have a strong shot but later wonder if they should have aimed for a more selective college instead.

3. “What was I thinking?” This is a catch-all category, apt for all of those ED applicants who, with hindsight, wished they’d chosen a college that was bigger, smaller, closer, farther, or simply somehow different.

How about YOU? Are you elated with your Early Decision acceptance or are doubts already creeping in? And, if so, WHY?
36 replies
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Replies to: Is Your ED Acceptance Good News or Bad?

  • merc81merc81 10355 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Question for you Sally, what percentage of students would you say express regrets, particularly regarding 2 and 3?

    As a response, no regrets whatsoever have been expressed by a relative after an ED1 acceptance in December. The application was submitted early perhaps to better assure admission, but the choice was made based on fit beforehand. Securing a college based on the greatest possible selectivity did not seem to be an issue, so regrets along those lines would not have been a issue. Nonetheless, the student will be attending a "most selective" college.
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  • apple23apple23 496 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    No regrets here with ED2 either. I (the mother) am the one secretly wondering what if...the child is over the moon and looking forward with great excitement.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not our story, but a friend's was encouraged to apply ED to a certain school by the GC and he did get in, but apparently the FA won't begin to cover expenses. Misinformed parent believed that "meets full need" meant "free" and it appears that even community college would be too costly. Clearly ED was a terrible choice for them, and the GC wasn't helpful at all. So there's a regret story for you.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3019 replies1114 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    @seamom-- Admitted ED applicants can escape from the binding commitment without penalty if the aid award isn't adequate. (And it's the family that defines "adequate," not the college.) Ordinarily this must be done immediately ... usually within a couple weeks of receiving the verdict. But if your friends are new to this crazy process and were poorly counseled, the college will let the kid off the hook if the family claims that the price tag is too high.

    You can relay this to your friends, but do also warn them that, once the student has bailed out, s/he can't say, "Never mind. I want to come after all." And if the student withdrew other applications after receiving the ED decision, it may be too late to find other, more affordable choices. But there's always a gap year as an option ... including some that pay the students to participate, such as Americorps and CityYear. The student could also work for a year while reapplying to more affordable choices.

    In other words, if the family truly feels suffocated by the ED commitment, they can renege.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thanks-we've been helping her figure out the options. She does know that without enough aid her son can get out of it. I believe she's trying to appeal for additional dollars first, though. I know the kid applied elsewhere too, but Mom says those won't work either. I'm not sure what, if any, talks the family had about affordability before the student started applying anywhere, and they sure didn't get the right information from the GC. Neither parent went to college-that might be where the 1st disconnect happened.
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  • CDKCDK 324 replies66 threadsRegistered User Member
    A little bit of the opposite. S1 did not get in EA to a top Ivy, but got deferred. This made him buckle down for some other applications. Although not binding, I am not sure he would have hat the impetus to 'finish strong' on his applications. He just got notified that he is in the running for a possible full ride merit scholarship at a mid-level flagship, and is guaranteed a minimum of $88,000 over 4 years. So the issue might still be: what if he gets into one or more of his top few choices and has to weigh that against a significant merit package elsewhere....
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  • okon2122okon2122 267 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    People should be applying ED to their dream school. Anything but might turn out poorly if the student is accepted to another college that they really wanted to go to first and foremost, which wasn't very selective and they knew they would probably get in. At that point you're really bummed that you can't decline the offer to the more selective but less suitable school. ED should be reserved for dream school, period.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78259 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    sseamom wrote:
    I'm not sure what, if any, talks the family had about affordability before the student started applying anywhere, and they sure didn't get the right information from the GC. Neither parent went to college-that might be where the 1st disconnect happened.

    Does the student have the stats to have a shot at any of the automatic full ride schools that may still be accepting applications for scholarships?
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  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom 2365 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My S was accepted ED2 last year. We were all elated. No regrets about it, but definitely a curiosity about where else he might have been accepted.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5728 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our CC relayed to us that many of the kids who don't apply ED realize after they've sent in all their RD applications that they did in fact have a front-runner but that they weren't quite ready to make the commitment in November because they didn't want to give up options. AND that in having applied to their top schools RD, rather than ED, they've perhaps given up some options. Which leads me to believe that the inverse is also true for some.

    My S was deferred at the ED1 school and said that while he will be elated if he gets in there RD, he's also come to realize that his thinking about what he wants has evolved a bit during the first part of senior year. Perhaps it's seeing what friends are doing or simply maturity, but he's definitely interested now in something less like his current situation than he was early in the fall of senior year. Had he gotten in, I think he'd be feeling happy about it. But as he didn't, he's used the chance to reassess very effectively.
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  • ChicagoSportsFnChicagoSportsFn 493 replies0 threadsRegistered User Member
    The ED option was perfect for my DD:

    1. DD knew it was the school she really wanted to attend after we visited 6 other schools. It was really her dream school.

    2. We knew the school gave a small boost to ED applicants. School was a low reach at best for her so we thought going ED would help her chances.

    3. Tuition/room and board weren't an issue, so we didn't need to compare offers from other schools. Rumor has it that the school is need-aware. We didn't apply for FA.

    A couple weeks after the acceptance, I started to wonder a couple things:

    1. Because of the ED acceptance, she didn't hit the submit button on 3 other schools that she would have applied to if she had gotten rejected or deferred. Like @ClaremontMom, I wonder where else she might have gotten accepted. Not a big deal really. She'll be going her dream school and we're all ecstatic.

    2. Should she have gone to our state flagship school? The school she will be going to has a rigorous pre-med program. It's pretty brutal based on what you can read on CC. Students work HARD- and still get Bs. I ask myself if As would come easier at the state flagship school? Don't know. The pre-med program at most places are extremely difficult. Not sure the pre-med program at our state flagship would have been much easier. No matter. DD will be going to her dream school and we're all ecstatic.

    I have a DD19 and DS23. We will use the ED option again if the conditions are in place for it to be useful to them just as it was for DD16. The schools that DD19 are already eyeing do not have the ED option.
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  • evenstevensevenstevens 28 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I applied ED to a school that I really liked and that I felt was a bit of a reach. I got in and of course I was excited because I really like so many aspects of the school that I could go on.
    But unfortunately I'm incredibly indecisive so I began wondering what would've happened if I had applied to other schools and wondering if I made the right choice, as I ended up getting accepted into the early assurance pharm program at my state school. Of course I've had my second thoughts about whether or not I made the right decision but ultimately I applied to a school that I'm quite fond of.
    The only regret I have is that I'll be a few hours away from home and that'll be a huge change but it's also a positive as I'll be able to gain some independence and not be so timid perhaps!
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  • NJFabFourNJFabFour 114 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ED was a great option for my D . . . the school had everything she wanted and she could easily see herself at home there. It was the perfect distance away (4 hours, not too close, not too far), she loved the campus, loved the dorms, the program she applied to is very flexible and supportive (she met with the director and spoke to some of the students), is a great college town with an active and social campus, lots of school spirit (that my D, a cheerleader, was hoping for!). Her stats were on the low-end of the school's stats of accepted students and D was convinced that she didn't have a chance. I knew there were several positive aspects of her application to offset some of the lower points. ED gave her the best chance and she was shocked and thrilled to have got in.
    I think that there was some trigger-anxiety in terms of "Wow, now I really am committed and there is no other option," but I think she is feeling good about it and excited about what lies ahead (and very relieved to have the process done!). As parents, we were elated because we had done the research and run the NPC and spoke to admissions and financial aid counselors at the school to determine if it was financially a viable option. Despite the school's extremely high sticker price, our net cost will be well below any other option, including the in-state and OOS schools she applied to. We are all grateful for the ED option and it turned out to be a great one for us.
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  • funfatdaddyfunfatdaddy 354 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    Like NJFabFour 's daughter my D was thrilled with her ED1 choice from two years ago. D is in her second year as a triple major (just 7 credits shy of senior status) and extremely active on her campus. Loves her school and visited her top three schools several times. D was more excited for her first choice after each visit. ED for my son would have been a disaster 6 years ago. He needed to take time off in April for additional before his final decision. He wisely chose a small liberal arts college with great merit and is doing very well in a great job. I believe ED depends upon the student.
    Good luck to all.
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  • viphanviphan 1250 replies20 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I was rejected from my ED last year, but looking back, I am glad I was. I now fit in perfectly with the community, the group of friends, lifestyle, and pursuits that were just not qualitatively possible in my ED school.
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  • lauriejgslauriejgs 360 replies66 threadsRegistered User Member
    @viphan, could you elaborate a little bit on how everything you have would not have been possible at your ED school?
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  • lauriejgslauriejgs 360 replies66 threadsRegistered User Member
    Thanks for the information. I'm happy you've found your home at Duke!
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