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EA Ivy vs ED other top 20 colleges

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Replies to: EA Ivy vs ED other top 20 colleges

  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1175 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,179 Senior Member
    edited June 5
    Hard to argue with the Harvard litigation data on the advantage of SCEA there. I suspect YPS might yield similar results. I would say though that what the data might not account for are certain subjective factors, especially in the EC's and essays, that might make the SCEA candidates a better fit in Harvard's eyes. The final decision was not based on which X number of kids had the highest combination of scores, but still involved subjective debate of all those who made it to that cut. You would think that a vast majority of SCEA applicants for H (and YPS) have that school as their personal top choice and their essays and how they portray their EC's in their essays are more finely crafted and tailored to H (or YPS) than the average also highly qualified RD applicant. Speculation on my part, and from a sample size of 1, S wrote more finely tuned essays for his SCEA school than others, some of which were derivative to his SCEA essays when the subject matters overlapped. I don't think he is unique. Can't fully test my theory because he saved me application bucks by dropping his other apps after he got in.

    What I find most problematical are parents/kids who are working the problem backwards. That is they have a list of 15 +- highly selective schools and are trying to game which is the most highly ranked (by prestige, not their own fit) school the ED (esp) or SCEA card will be the most advantageous for them based on published admit rates between ED, ED2, EA and RD rather than ranking the schools by personal fit and then determining if applying the ED/EA card for one of their top picks is worth it. The other rookie mistake is ascribing a greater value to ED than it is worth based on hope (like assuming 20 local EC's will make up for below average academics -- oftentimes the same people). The ED/EA boost is for the qualified candidate who is right on the fence -- the one who makes it to Committee in the first place imo.

    edited June 5
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  • RiversiderRiversider 637 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 707 Member
    edited June 5
    For EA, SCEA & ED at elite 20-25, only ED adds advantage for students. If you are trying to benefit from early admission forget HYPSM and apply ED to colleges who wants to lock you away from HYPSM and increase yield. HYPSM already have a high yield, they are not going to admit you just because you applied early.
    edited June 5
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2233 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    edited June 5
    "That is they have a list of 15 +- highly selective schools and are trying to game which is the most highly ranked (by prestige, not their own fit)"

    A lot of kids pick say Stanford for computer science without visiting the campus or knowing it's a fit. Are you saying those kids are making a mistake by choosing Stanford for CS based on it's prestige? You'd be the first. And just to show I'm not totally stem-biased, people picking Yale for English because of its prestige are making the same mistake? Wow, a whole lot of kids making mistakes picking those colleges.

    "The other rookie mistake is ascribing a greater value to ED than it is worth based on hope (like assuming 20 local EC's will make up for below average academics -- oftentimes the same people)."

    Again this is a huge generalization without anything to back it up. Are you saying that people applying to Columbia or JHU ED have below average academics and 20 fluff ECs?
    edited June 5
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1175 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,179 Senior Member
    edited June 5
    ^ You are totally misreading and taking my comments out of context.

    On the first point, sure there are kids who are picking Stanford and Yale without ever visiting their campuses or knowing for sure it is a fit and are not making a mistake, but there certainly are those who are blindly picking or ranking based purely on prestige. How many threads do we see on this site with kids wanting "chances" for every/most Ivies, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Chicago, etc... and 5 selective LACs. Many of those are making mistakes. For purposes of this thread, I am referring to the imo backwards process of blindly ranking schools on prestige and then trying to figure out which ones give you the best ED/EA bump relative to RD rather than ranking schools based on personal fit first and then seeing where ED/EA makes the most sense. Prestige certainly is a legitimate factor, but so are things such as size of student body as a whole, class sizes, departmental resources for undergrads, geography (weather, big city, suburb, rural...), social life and whether or not you are in fact competitive academically. The non hooked kid who chooses Stanford and uses his/her SCEA/ED bullet there when let's say his/her SAT score is 1450, is ranked not in the top 3-5%, but 6-15% of a non-feeder school and has no national recognition is making a mistake. Same for the kid who could have Stanford level stat's but whose personality is more suited to a small school environment, say Harvey Mudd and could have ED'd there.

    On the second point, I have no clue how you could have interpreted what I wrote to how you translated it. I made no qualitative comment about any school. My simple point was people incorrectly assuming that they could elevate an otherwise noncompetitive application to a "yes" by using the ED magic bullet. It is akin to people assuming a bunch of not particularly unique EC's/recognition (president of 10 clubs, shadow a doctor, all district debater, etc...) will make up for subpar (for that school's) academics. My last sentence very clearly put the prior sentence in context, "The ED/EA boost is for the qualified candidate who is right on the fence -- the one who makes it to Committee in the first place imo." As to correlating overly optimistic people, of course no, I didn't do a statistical study over a valid sample size, but it is not a wild observation of human nature that people who fall short in an area many times look/hope for something else to make up for the shortfall. Maybe I shouldn't have used "oftentimes" so I will replace that with "sometimes".
    edited June 5
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  • CU123CU123 3263 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,318 Senior Member
    I wouldn’t read into the Harvard lawsuit too much on the advantage of SCEA, there is the real possibility that the SCEA pool is just stronger.
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  • KLSDKLSD 237 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    Admissions officers at top tier clearly state that the ED pool stronger. Yes, for the high GPA and SAT candidate with 5s on all APs, strong ECs and top 1-2% of class ED has an advantage. Not uncommon for Naviance to only show ED or SECA acceptances from your HS.
    Guidance tells students to search and if they have a #1, apply early. I have to wonder; if a couple of students are accepted early from your HS, are any candidates considered RD, especially those lower ranked?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32224 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,560 Senior Member
    edited June 6
    Again, in holistic, "stronger" means more than stats and strong ECs. (Chance threads show lots misunderstand what strong ECs are.) In Early, you still present a full app pkg, incl the written parts/supp questions.

    The assumption is every kid going for ED knows the school well, deeply, and can ace this. But not necessarily. Sure, many can, but stats/ECs don't predict that.
    edited June 6
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  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 1039 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,044 Senior Member
    Various people have done the math, using reasonable assumptions and whatever info is available (in the case of Harvard, there's a lot more as a result of the court case). When you knock out the recruited athletes and the hooked kids, there's still a meaningful statistical advantage to applying early, although less than some think. Directionally, it looks to be similar across the SCEA and EA/ED Top 20s. Why might that be?

    The early applicant pool is certainly higher-quality on average, in the sense of being able to produce an attractive application. Early applicants are savvier about the process, wealthier and at higher-quality schools with better college counseling on average, enjoying many advantages. So you'd expect applicants in that pool to produce better-looking applications that check all the boxes (including making the case for why they match a particular school), and to be admitted at a higher rate.

    Yield is also not insignificant to these schools. They have a certain number of beds and locking down a big chunk of the class early has value, too (some cynically say that locking down the required critical mass of full payers early matters too, even at the supposedly need-blind schools). It's a little different for the SCEA schools, because you aren't required to accept the offer, but if you used your bullet there and got in, you're very likely to enroll. It was your first choice in November, and will probably still be your first choice in March. You might say that HYPS don't have to care about yield, which is mostly true, but leads on to the final point.

    These schools use SCEA and EA/ED as an important tool to shape the class. If they need exactly one elite bassoonist, and you're one and apply early, your odds are significantly enhanced, because you indicated that this school was your first choice and are very likely (if SCEA) or virtually certain (if ED) to enroll. By admitting you early, the school avoids a potential jump ball with peer schools for elite bassoonists in the RD round.
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