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The Plague of ‘Early Decision’

oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,608 Senior Member
A popular college admissions practice is unjust and unwise.


Replies to: The Plague of ‘Early Decision’

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,525 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    Seems like the objections may not really apply (or not apply much) to non-binding non-restrictive early action or rolling admissions.

    However, it should generally be expected that binding early decision will tip the admit class of a college toward higher SES, due to early decision applicants being willing to commit without needing to compare financial aid offers. This may be the intended effect when colleges are adjusting their admission procedures with an eye toward managing their financial aid budgets (without having to be need aware when reading individual applications).
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,922 Senior Member
    Yeah, everyone's got a gripe and Bruni needed to say something, by deadline, I guess. D2 went in with eyes wide open, got in ED and was fine, no upheavals. Got great FA, too. And this was before NPCs. But we weren't nutso, neither of ours was biting their nails over all this. We didn't allow the notion of a "dream" college, but asked them to find a list of schools where they'd be happy and productive.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,608 Senior Member
    Bruni is wrong when he states ED hurts low income students. It gives them the best shot at the generous need based aid offered at the top privates and LAC. The middle class "donut" kids who can't afford to be full pay and have to shop for merit are the ones hurt the most, but generally the media and eduction establishment doesn't care about these students.

    He wrote about middle income students as well.
    The biggest problem by far: It significantly disadvantages students from low-income and middle-income families, who are already underrepresented at such schools. There’s plenty of evidence that applying early improves odds of admission and that the students who do so — largely to gain a competitive edge — come disproportionately from privileged backgrounds with parents and counselors who know how to game the system and can assemble the necessary test scores and references by the November deadline.

    And there are many, many, many more selective schools with early decision than there are schools that offer full rides to low-income students.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,922 Senior Member
    Coming disproportionately from full pay doesn't mean a generous college won't admit or offer good aid to low and middle income kids,in ED. IF a family knows what they can afford and has made a reasonable decision to try ED, has run NPCs, they should have an idea, no?

    Of course this doesn't work when the NPC is high and you're dreaming, a school doesn't offer good aid, families are under-informed. Or when there's a reason the NPC is off or you're looking for uncertain merit. But in those cases, one shouldn't do ED.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,718 Senior Member
    .I'm fine with EA, not a fan of SCEA or ED. I do think that between September and April there is the opportunity for change. My oldest had exactly the same priorities, but my youngest changed a lot. He almost applied to Vassar ED because he knew he'd get a boost, by April he thought it was too small. Both my kids got into at least one school before December which took a lot of the pressure off.
  • notveryzennotveryzen Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    Totally agree with @mathmom that SCEA is a bad thing. But I don't blame the schools that do it. They are getting away with it and the numbers keep going up. The problem is the kids and their families don't do the math, don't understand basic game theory, and keep signing up to screw themselves out of possibly better alternatives. I've seen so many kids burned by SCEA over the last couple years and have made it my personal mission to do everything I can to try to talk them into not signing up for such a sucker bet.
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 1,159 Senior Member
    Why is SCEA a " sucker bet"?
  • Belle315Belle315 Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    I find the whole "applying early is so stressful" argument amusing. Down here in Dixie, the VAST majority of students go to state schools. They apply sometime between August 1 and October 31 and have their acceptances by Thanksgiving.

    I remember people being incredulous that D would have to wait until February (ED2) to find out for sure where she would be going to school. They thought waiting that long was way too nerve wracking. :)
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