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Strategizing and timing EA / ED / RD rollout of applications

ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
edited October 17 in Parents Forum
For those of you with children applying (or applied) EA or ED, what's your strategy for the RD apps. We will be submitting an app EA 11/1 to a reach with a notification date of mid Dec. Son has 7 other schools on the list with otherwise mostly low to high match and a couple of safeties, all with RD deadlines of approx 1/1. We did not do ED anywhere b/c son wasn't sure and b/c we didn't want the financial obligation without other choices.

There are a handful of schools that, even if son gets in EA to the reach, he will still apply to. But then there will be 2-3 he would likely scratch off list (not yet sure which ones though!). All of his apps have several writing supplements, which can be done after EA notification but it will make for a stressful winter break. On the other hand, I don't want to make him do all of them now because it is a lot of work (he spent 6 hours over the weekend doing one set of supplements).

The other consideration is that I don't want to pay for all those apps, which with score reports, CSS, etc averages $125/app.

And finally, how do HSs handle transcript requests via CA and naviance? HS will be closed from mid Dec through RD deadline. If the systems are linked, does the transcript just go automatically with the recs and stuff? HS doesn't like getting transcript requests before app is completely finished.

To wrap all this up: For those of you with kids with labor intensive apps, do you have your child complete all apps for RD in the event EA/ED doesn't work out? Or do you wait for notification?

Replies to: Strategizing and timing EA / ED / RD rollout of applications

  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,612 Senior Member
    My older son waited till he got deferred from both his EA schools to start on any other applications. He didn't change much at all in any of his applications. It was still a bit of a scramble to get the rest of them in, and nag him to get the outside recommendations from people who actually knew his comp sci work. Getting deferred was a wake up call to him that great grades and great scores and a prett good list of ECs aren't actually enough. (Basically his application was "I'm a computer nerd, take me or leave me." and his "Why X college?" was "You've got a great CS department!" With the additional recommendations - and of course the great stats he did do fine, though the two deferrals ultimately turned into rejections.)

    Younger son's applications were a bit more challenging - he worked on his applications pretty steadily all through the fall. He applied to two schools EA with very different applications (U of Chicago with their weird essays, and Georgetown School of Foreign Service which essentially wanted a policy paper.) He got accepted at UC and deferred at Georgetown. (They don't reject anyone EA so that's not a particularly hopeful sign!) Since he hadn't seen Chicago, he kept his list, dropping only a safety he didn't care that much for. He definitely had a few applications that didn't go off until December. He drove me crazy because he insisted on waiting until January to do his Tufts application, because they had an optional essay that he was really looking forward to writing and he wanted to have fun with it. (BTW he got into Tufts and attended so I guess it may have been worth it to give that essay so much love!)

    Generally I think you should have all your applications ready to go so that it's not a big scramble in December, if the news isn't good, but getting a kid on board with your plan may not be easy!
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 3,981 Senior Member
    My S applied ED to a school. He submitted RD applications to 1) state safety school (rolling admission); 2) two other reach schools that had early deadlines for scholarship consideration. He had additional applications started in the Common App in various stages, with the understanding if he didn't get in ED, he would be spending his winter break finishing them up.

    Fortunately he was admitted ED so he was done. But I didn't want to pay unnecessary application fees/test score fees/CSS Profile fees if I didn't have to.

    Our school was not on Naviance or any electronic system. No charge for transcripts, but I had to provide the addressed/stamped envelopes, so my situation was a little different for those.
  • ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    @mathmom @college_query Thanks for your input. Sounds like he should do something similar. Maybe I can tell him he just needs drafts for the supplements by early Dec. Then it's only a matter of revising after EA notification. By then, if positive EA decision, maybe he will have a firmer grasp on which schools he would definitely not attend and we can scratch those off the list to avoid additional revisions and costs.

    I looked up score report timing. Says allow 2 weeks from order to delivery. So if we know EA result by Dec 15 or so, we can immediately send reports to schools remaining on his list to make the 1/1 deadline. I hope I read that right!
  • colfac92colfac92 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    edited October 17
    My son applied ED to his first choice, and held off on applying to any others. He was deferred, so he submitted 4 other applications for the RD round. I don't recall how much work he might have done in advance to be prepared to submit these applications, maybe some but probably not a whole lot. I think three of the four were due January 1; one (or possibly two) had a later deadline. Ultimately he was admitted to his ED choice, and two of the others. ETA: he may have already ordered test score reports to be sent to the additional schools, and we had prepared the financial aid applications in advance as well.
  • lr4550lr4550 Registered User Posts: 869 Member
    Since his EA school is a reach I would strongly encourage him to have his other applications ready to submit before he hears back in December (especially for the schools he will be applying to regardless of his EA decsion). Do any of his RD schools have application fee waivers? Sometimes schools will encourage early submission with a fee waiver if you apply before a certain date. If so I would consider encouraging him to submit those applications even if it means paying for the test scores.

    My daughter has some EA schools and potentially an ED school but she still has a few visits/interviews before she decides ED or not. On one hand I'm glad she'll have a good idea by mid December if she needs to submit more applications; on the other hand I know we are potentially wasting money on her 3 EA applications if in fact she wouldn't have needed to apply to those schools. Her RD schools don't have supplements so that is a relief if she needs to go that route after she hears in December.
  • pantha33mpantha33m Registered User Posts: 175 Junior Member
    S18 is applying ED to his favorite reach and EA to just about every school where possible with the exception of some other reaches where we've determined that, in the absence of applying ED, his (hopefully improved) first semester grades will have a positive impact.

  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,332 Senior Member
    Both of my kids had successful ED rounds. We the parents said that we weren't signing the ED acknowledgement (which required a parent signature) until the RD apps were completed and ready to go. I'd read too many accounts of students getting rejected in December, and then needing to scramble to get the other applications completed. Like rubbing salt in raw wounds to have to write enthusiastically about why you wanted to go to school X when top choice Y had just said "thanks, but no thanks."

    Holding off allows you to save on the cost of applying; you may still need to submit score report requests before hearing about the EA decision. Keep in mind that your child's high school may need to submit their part of the applications (transcript, recommendations, counselor form) before you hear back from the EA app. Many high schools will be closed for winter break right when those decisions are going out, and won't be able to send out transcripts until after some RD application deadlines. You may be OK, because colleges understand that it may take awhile for some of the supporting documents to show up in the applicant's file, but better IMO to avoid the stress.

    Turns out that D1 lied and hadn't finished her other essays, but she did have her UC application in so that would've been backup regardless. D2 submitted several EA apps before the ED; having learned from her sister, I insisted on actually seeing her essays before signing the ED form.
  • ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    edited October 17
    @lr4550 How would I find out if a school has an early submission fee waiver (actually makes a lot of sense b/c they can start reviewing sooner). Son's schools are all private top-25 LACs with one outlier LAC. I haven't seen anything on their sites but maybe not looking in the right place. I only see fee waiver info for financial hardship.

    @SlitheyTove Do you think 2 weeks isn't enough time for the score reports? His schools superscore the ACT, which means $26 for 2 and the SAT II report is $13. I realize $39 doesn't sound like a lot, but when there are 7 schools, it adds up.

    Also, can anyone tell me how far in advance I need to order the CSS profile for schools? I only initially had it sent to the three "definite" schools. I did have FAFSA sent to all since that was free. Again, would like to wait till after notification in mid Dec b/c of $16 cost.

    I did think about the transcript problem. I figured worst case we could request transcripts ahead of submitting the app. This is partially why I asked about the CA + Naviance link. If the transcript and recs are in Naviance already, does something from CA (S's CA and Nav are linked) automatically generate the sending of these docs? If so, then that seems easier to deal with. S is at a private HS with a fantastic GC, so surely he can advise us on this. I just hate bugging him. Don't want to become that parent that's constantly emailing.
  • lr4550lr4550 Registered User Posts: 869 Member
    @ProfessorMom1 my daughter recently received a postcard from Whitman saying her application fee would be waived if she applies by December 1. Not sure how that happens- there was no "code" to enter- maybe the offer is linked to her common app profile? Or maybe the fee is refunded after the application is submited? We're visiting this weekend so I'll try to find out.

    I believe she also received a similar postcard from Willamette earlier this year- application fee waived if apply by certain date. I didn't keep that one because she isn't applying but I am thinking that this "waiving of fees if apply before XX date" might work similarly for these LACS who are offering it so this weekend I'll find out if the fee is refunded or if the waiver is linked to the common app.

    Also, regarding transcript- I think for *most* high schools the school report is submitted (once) to the common app after the student invites the counselor as a recommender on the common app. You can see on the common app if the school report has been started or fully submitted by going to dashobard, clicking a college, and clicking on recommenders. Once the student hits the submit button and applies, the college downloads the report from the common app. So, as long as the counselor has been "invited" under recommenders, the school should know to link and hoepfully submit the transcript to the common app so that it should be available for any school to download that receives an application. At least I *think* that is how it works- high schools submit it once to the common app.
  • ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    @lr4550 Thanks for the info. I fear I've thrown out some post cards without reading them well (ack). If we were already decided on a school, I was trying to save our collective energy! Anyway, so on son's CA for EA app, it says in a gray box this:

    NAME OF COUNSELOR School Counselor Invited: 10/09/2017
    School Report
    Counselor Recommendation
    Optional Report
    Mid Year Report
    Final Report

    I can't remember what that area looked like before so am not sure if it changed. Does this likely mean these items have already been submitted? The mid year report can't be in there yet, which makes me think the rest aren't either b/c they look all the same. Under TEACHER it doesn't say anything, but those recs have been submitted to Naviance.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    edited October 17
    Do it in waves and adjust as you move along. Trust me -- you do not want to wait until 12/15 to do the rest.

    Seems like you are under-utilizing your early opportunities. Why only one EA application? I'm assuming the applicable rules would allow more than one.

    My kid's favorite school (reach) was EA not ED. So we did three other EA/rolling applications (slight reach, match, safety) by 11/1. Really helpful to get several early feedbacks in mid-December to focus the rest of the process.

    Between 11/1 and 12/15 the kid did one or two slight reach RDs that the kid wanted to apply to regardless. But mostly worked on scholarship applications. You really should use that time period to advance the process and cut down on the 12/31 crunch. Given what the whole rodeo is costing you in time and money, be careful not to screw up the process just to save on a few app fees.

    After the 12/15 returns came back (very positive) all remaining apps were abandoned except for one remaining Hail Mary reach. So 12/15 to 1/15 was used mostly for scholarship applications. Kid ended up picking an RD school with a scholarship over the reach EA favorite.

    At the beginning, the list was up to 12 schools. Given the good feedback on EA, it wound up being 4 EA and 3 RD. If the EA had come back negative, we might have applied to all 12. If we had done only one EA and then also stalled on RDs until 12/15, we would have been in complete misery from 12/15 to 1/1. You don't want to do that to yourself or your kid.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,438 Senior Member
    Ours lined up on the calendar pretty nicely (5 schools, 2 honors programs, 2 scholarships)

    Safety school with rolling admissions - opened in August, already accepted.
    EA 2 schools deadline 11/1 - in progress, one done
    State flagship deadline 11/15 - up next, can reuse some essays from above
    Safety school honors program essay due 12/3
    State honors scholarship deadline 12/15
    Regular decision 1/3 - one more school, already planning to reuse essay for supplement
    One more scholarship - due March 31st
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Registered User Posts: 6,332 Senior Member
    Do you think 2 weeks isn't enough time for the score reports? His schools superscore the ACT, which means $26 for 2 and the SAT II report is $13. I realize $39 doesn't sound like a lot, but when there are 7 schools, it adds up.

    You can do a little homework (lurking on the school threads, calling the admissions office anonymously) to see if the college absolutely requires that the file be complete on the deadline. Then decide what to do. I've been away from the rodeo long enough to not know how quickly ACT and SAT scores can be sent out, so I wouldn't rely on me for that info. And though I'm trying, I can't remember what I and the spouse decided to do. For D2 it was a moot point, since she only had one or two RD schools. Everything else was EA and the ED, so we had to pay up early.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,438 Senior Member
    You do not need to submit both SAT and ACT. Just submit the one that is most impressive. Or, if they are equally strong, use the SAT since that's cheaper to send for you.

    If you are truly struggling to pay for test scores and application fees, look into fee waivers. They are automatic for kids on free lunch programs, food stamps, or other state/federal assistance
  • MomtoAndrew2018MomtoAndrew2018 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    S applied to 11 schools, a few are rolling, the rest are EA. We have 2 RD schools ready to go, but really hope we don't have to apply.

    All the EA schools release decisions in January, so our only bet is to get decisions early enough from rolling schools.

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