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Hey, maybe all top 30 schools will start taking 75+% of their class from ED and kids will just have to figure out what college they really want to attend by 11/1 and that will scale down app counts elsewhere.
ED is a plus factor, but not that big. Remember, those ED admit rates include athletes and legacies. For unhooked applicants, ED gives an edge - but I would call it a 'big' plus factor.
But, in a school that has a 10% admit rate, going from 10% to 12% is a 20% increase in chances. That to me, is big. Add in the fact that the top xx are extremely generous with need-based aid....like they say in the Lottery ads: 'ya gotta play to win'.
A few years ago, an Adcom at one of the Ancient Eight admitted that ED gives the unhooked a "few percent" increase. Let's say "few" = 3%. Thus, ED is a 30% increase in odds from their 10% RD rate.
The related takeaway is that missing the target with your ED silver bullet/golden ticket/flaming arrow can make your admissions experience miserable. We knew several smart kids who were terrified they wouldn't get admitted anywhere all the way into late March.
Am I the only one that finds this thread to be nothing but sour grapes from those who feel that their student was somehow wronged because they didn't get into an Ivy+? My gosh! Such ridiculous statements being passed off as universal truths by a vocal minority. Move on folks. Your kids will do great wherever they will be attending. No one is entitled to an Ivy+ admission. Sorry your child wasn't in the >60% of whites admitted and has to settle for a mere top 25 school (cry me a river).