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For those who applied ED I or ED II, at what point did you know it was the right thing to do?

nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
edited November 2 in Parents Forum
DS is currently visiting a long list of small, selective private schools. He applied EA to Yale, but it is a stretch at best. I’m honestly not sure he’s even in the ballpark, but he wasn’t ready to commit ED anywhere and this was an option.

He has good stats, but not exceptional (4.0 UW GPA, 1420 SAT, 32 ACT). He is a very talented musician (tenor vocal & percussionist), and is involved in theater and within the community. He actively plays in two bands outside of school as well. He is not an URM, low income, or first generation college student. Many of the small, private schools he is applying to offer ED II. He has applied to several SUNY schools as safeties, but I know he will academically do much better at a small private college. That said, he is still deciding on where he wants to go. We are intensely visiting many of the schools he’s applied to, and the visits are definitely helping him narrow his choices. Our income and his Father’s income will be looked at to determine aid eligibility, which has somewhat made it difficult for us to predict what he would receive in financial aid. I’ve also heard that many of the private schools that guarantee to meet 100% of financial need vary drastically in terms of the financially aid they offer. We fully expect to pay something, but are not able to commit to pay the full cost. As a family, how did you make the decision to apply ED? Did your DS or DD know 100% where they wanted to go? Or...did you encourage them to pick a school, stressing the harsh reality of possible rejections from many of the schools they applied to if they didn’t?

Finally, were you happy with the outcome? Did you have any regrets?

edited November 2
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Replies to: For those who applied ED I or ED II, at what point did you know it was the right thing to do?

  • thumper1thumper1 75178 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    Our kids applied early action to several colleges each. No ED at all.

    You know...there really isn’t any reason to apply ED at all. Most kids don’t apply anywhere ED.

    If you think applying ED will give him an admissions “edge” think again. The edge is very small.
    He has applied to several SUNY schools as safeties, but I know he will academically do much better at a small private college.

    How do you know this? Are you thinking about class sizes...because many small schools have large classes, and many large schools have small ones. Access to professors is up to the student in either case. Your son might do just as well at a SUNY school as any other.

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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 88 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My D20 applied ED to one of the schools you mention in your “2 visits in one day” posts. It was the first school we ever took her to and she used it as the measuring stick for each of the 29 other schools she saw. There was another school that she thought might be a contender for ED and was flipping back and forth all summer. She visited both schools several times (I think 4 each, starting when she was a sophomore), developed pretty good relationships with her admissions officers, and the Dean at one school actually recognizes her and greets her by name and they have interesting conversations when they meet up. She decided to go back for home football games at both top schools this past fall so she could get a feel for what the students really did on the weekend and what it felt like there on a “regular” day. While she enjoyed both schools, one just felt more like how she wanted to spend her time. The school meets full need, we did the npc and myintuition calculators and felt both numbers were within the range of what we could pay. She will apply ED 2 to the other school if things don’t work out for the first and she has an EA app in at the only other school on her list that offered it.

    The school is a reach because of a low acceptance rate but her stats are at or above the 75th percentile. Naviance shows her with the highest SAT score and second highest GPA from her HS. The feedback she has gotten from AO and Dean is favorable and encouraging, but we take that with a grain of salt since they are salespeople at heart. DD uses the phrase “cautiously optimistic” but she has no regrets. She chose ED to make the strongest application she could.
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    Our kids applied early action to several colleges each. No ED at all.

    You know...there really isn’t any reason to apply ED at all. Most kids don’t apply anywhere ED.

    If you think applying ED will give him an admissions “edge” think again. The edge is very small.
    He has applied to several SUNY schools as safeties, but I know he will academically do much better at a small private college.

    How do you know this? Are you thinking about class sizes...because many small schools have large classes, and many large schools have small ones. Access to professors is up to the student in either case. Your son might do just as well at a SUNY school as any other.

    I’m not thinking about just class sizes. His graduating class has only a little more than 100 kids, approximately 400 total in the school. We toured some larger campuses and he knew right away he needed a smaller college setting. I’m sure there are some SUNY schools that have smaller programs within each institution. It’s the college setting itself that concerns me. The schools that seem to be the best fit for him are those with less than 2000 students, possibly those less than 3000.

    He has applied to EA at several SUNY schools, but they are honestly not schools that are the best fit for him.
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  • mountainsoulmountainsoul 65 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited November 2
    My D19 fell in love with her college during the campus tour. It became the college against which all others were measured. I ran the NPC many, many, many times before signing off on the ED agreement with the understanding that, if admitted, she would not be able to attend if the FA package substantially differed from the NPC estimated costs.

    We completed the financial paperwork by the deadline and received the FA award letter along with her letter of acceptance; the FA award was within $1000 of the NPC estimate. She accepted her place in the class, paid the deposit, and enjoyed a relaxing holiday season. No regrets at all.
    edited November 2
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1951 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2
    My daughter applied ED1 to a school that was something of a reach, which has a definite advantage for ED applicants (it’s not a school that uses those places for athletes or legacy). It was a very definite top choice for her, and we are full pay, so there was no reason not to try. She did get in.


    She would not have wanted to bind herself to a school that she was unsure about, and we would have counseled against that. My sense from CC of people who try to use ED to be strategic rather than because it’s a real top choice, is that that is a path that often leads to regrets/“what if’s”.
    edited November 2
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2438 replies59 threads Senior Member
    If you need to compare financial aid, don't apply ED. You've run the NPCs for all the school's he's considering (once for your household, once for his dad's, add the two parent contributions together - how close is that to what the parents are willing to pay)?

    For our household, all the schools we agreed could be on the initial list were affordable, because the ones that weren't got the discretionary parent veto. And we'd agreed up front that we weren't going to require her to pick the least expensive option.

    It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that she was obviously narrowing things way down that we had the parent discussion about whether we'd agree to an ED application. Everyone was pretty much in agreement that it hit what she was looking for better than any other school would.
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2523 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2
    Three different kids here, three different points at which each one made a case for ED that was strong enough for us to sign the parent commitment form. The oldest knew when she was 16. She did due diligence and a lot of sleepovers at a lot of other schools, but she was very sure (and very right, in terms of fit and happy experience) very early on. Middle wasn't truly sure until overnights and class visits at a couple of other schools high on his list, but he was sure by the end of senior September (and he was also very right). And the youngest really, really wasn't sure until the last two weeks. But he made his case and we signed.

    He's got everything thisclose to ready for an ED2 at the school that was a very close second choice, and EA apps in at two schools which are reasonably likely for him, and at which he's sure he could also thrive. So I believe his outcome will be good, whether the ED app succeeds or not.

    At no point would we have pushed any of the three to choose an ED school because of any perceived advantage.* And if the youngest had made a weak case, we'd have made him push everything to the RD round. It's not a decision to play around with or to use as a way to game the process, the way we look at it.


    *other than the obvious advantage of being done with the process, if you are fortunate.



    edited November 2
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
    allyphoe wrote: »
    If you need to compare financial aid, don't apply ED. You've run the NPCs for all the school's he's considering (once for your household, once for his dad's, add the two parent contributions together - how close is that to what the parents are willing to pay)?

    For our household, all the schools we agreed could be on the initial list were affordable, because the ones that weren't got the discretionary parent veto. And we'd agreed up front that we weren't going to require her to pick the least expensive option.

    It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that she was obviously narrowing things way down that we had the parent discussion about whether we'd agree to an ED application. Everyone was pretty much in agreement that it hit what she was looking for better than any other school would.

    Yes, we have run the NPC’s for the schools for both our income and his fathers and, for us, it was a workable number. We are not sure if it is for his Dad because DS wasn’t at a place where he was considering ED. After our first visits this summer, it was clear colleges were pushing ED, saying things like “1/2 the class is full with ED applicants”. DS got scared and wanted to commit right away to Hamilton. It was initially his favorite, and one of the ones we visited this summer. In fairness, though, Hamilton was not the school that said “1/2 the spots were full with ED applicants.” We knew DS wasn’t 100% sure and was only considering it out of fear. We told him that he needed to know 100% that this was the school he wanted to go to and that his mind wouldn’t change from July until May. He said he wasn’t sure. We told him that he wasn’t ready to do it then.

    Now, several months later, we’ve looked at more schools and he has identified more schools he likes and more able to identify ones he doesn’t. It’s possible that after visiting several more schools, he will identify “The School”. We have 9 planned visits left. At that point, we plan to have this conversation with him again, asking if he knows 100% the school he is choosing is where he wants to go. If he still isn’t sure, we will proceed with RD rounds.

    Does this plan make sense?

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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 88 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Many schools have November 15 as ED deadlines so is he mostly looking at ED2 options? Or are most of your visits this week?

    Also, not sure what other schools he is looking at or what their specifics are but you might not know that Hamilton does have a writing supplemental essay that does not show up on the Common App. The prompt is in the portal they set up once the application is received. It might make it hard to get “surprise” supplemental essays done if he makes his decisions close to deadlines.
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  • ja;sldkjfja;sldkjf 9 replies0 threads New Member
    My daughter applied ED because she found a school that fit. All other schools were compared to it and found lacking. It is financially viable so I told her, if you know, apply now. If you don't get in, apply elsewhere. The fact that this is so much easier than when my older daughter applied RD to 7 schools and we waited and waited, is secondary.

    Don't push your children to any decisions but, be very specific about what you can afford.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75178 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2
    it was clear colleges were pushing ED, saying things like “1/2 the class is full with ED applicants

    Guess they left out the part that many of these are legacy admits, developmental admits and athletes.

    If he really wants a college with 2000-3000 students...then why Yale SCEA. Almost 6000 undergrads. Actually, all of the Ivies have at least 4000 students (Dartmouth) and the rest much bigger. Brown is about 7000. Princeton over 5000.

    edited November 2
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 154 replies4 threads Junior Member
    We still don't know if we did the right thing with my S19's SCEA; he was deferred and later rejected, but is now attending another school on a very generous grant. However, we did learn that the time gap between the release of early round decisions and the due dates of RDs somehow seemed to be warped and shortened. It took a day or two for my S19 to recover from the disappointment of being deferred, and he managed to finish, just in time, the other RDs that he had started some months prior.

    Just speaking from a logistics perspective, I am wondering if your son is also working on the applications for the RD round, just in case that he chooses to try other schools.
    N.B. Brown suggests sending in a graded paper, Princeton requires one. Dartmouth suggests sending in a LOR from the applicant's peers.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75178 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    He absolutely should have his RD applications in the works now. Even if he applies ED2, he should submit the RD applications. It’s a lot easier to withdraw them should he get accepted than it will be to do them with the disappointment of a rejection so close.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    You should be prepared for a deferral at Yale. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think they just admit or defer all SCEA candidates.

    I understand the want to ED. S19 wasn't ready and we wanted to see if he got merit anywhere but, in the end, he ended up at a full pay college. Since we will probably bite the bullet and let D21 go to a full priced school too, we will let her use ED if she has a favorite just to see if she can end the process early. We will not let her ED without spending a few days on campus, talking to students, and going to class. At the schools she's considering so far, we know a student or two from our high school. We don't know them well but I will make D21 reach out to them and ask how it's going. I want her to get the real scoop.

    S19 did get into Hamilton RD. It does happen. ;)
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2438 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Yale does reject SCEA applicants. See last year's SCEA results thread.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5209 replies98 threads Senior Member
    @allyphoe thanks. I had heard anecdotally that they deferred a large percent.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1517 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2
    D20 researched and toured many colleges and found one that was her best fit. Since it has ED and we are “comfortable” with the price she applied early because in theory it has better odds for acceptance than RD. She has no hooks but might get a slight boost by applying ED but who really knows other than the college?

    Someone mentioned that applying ED will get the process over with quickly but for us, D20 will still have to apply to almost all of her other colleges by November 30th as ED results are not until 12/15 or so.

    Lastly, you will get different opinions here about whether to apply ED or not but remember that some families are chasing merit so they will not be big fans of ED as they need to wait and compare merit packages. For others, Cost is less of a factor and ED might help their kids get into some colleges that they would not have applying RD

    It’s a very personal decision that each family needs to consider. Keep us updated on your decision.
    edited November 2
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
    edited November 2
    Many schools have November 15 as ED deadlines so is he mostly looking at ED2 options? Or are most of your visits this week?

    Also, not sure what other schools he is looking at or what their specifics are but you might not know that Hamilton does have a writing supplemental essay that does not show up on the Common App. The prompt is in the portal they set up once the application is received. It might make it hard to get “surprise” supplemental essays done if he makes his decisions close to deadlines.

    He completed all of his applications this summer and submitted his applications mid-September. He did see and submit the Hamilton supplement, but thank you for asking. He has applied to many private schools regular decision and a few SUNY schools Early Action. He applied Early Action to Yale, but knows it is a long shot.

    At this point, we would only be considering ED 2. He visited 2 schools this weekend and is visiting more over Veteran’s Day. His last few college visits are in Philly in early December.
    edited November 2
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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    it was clear colleges were pushing ED, saying things like “1/2 the class is full with ED applicants

    Guess they left out the part that many of these are legacy admits, developmental admits and athletes.

    If he really wants a college with 2000-3000 students...then why Yale SCEA. Almost 6000 undergrads. Actually, all of the Ivies have at least 4000 students (Dartmouth) and the rest much bigger. Brown is about 7000. Princeton over 5000.

    I honestly have no idea. DH and I did not encourage him to apply to any Ivy schools, but he’s very close with his Dad and his Dad was really pushing Ivy League schools. I think he liked the idea that it was a non binding early response option since he knew he wasn’t ready to commit anywhere else. I personally feel it might have made more sense to apply Early Action to a private that might have offered merit aid, but I wasn’t sure. He’s also only recently discovered he doesn’t like large schools. His Dad took him to Oberlin and Vanderbilt. He has already applied to Oberlin and Loved it. He interestingly did not like Vanderbilt (which is good since it’s another big reach), but I think a parent can tell their kid “I see you thriving better at a small school” and it’s another thing entirely for the student to accept that.

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  • nextstepcollegenextstepcollege 113 replies14 threads Junior Member
    tgl2023 wrote: »
    We still don't know if we did the right thing with my S19's SCEA; he was deferred and later rejected, but is now attending another school on a very generous grant. However, we did learn that the time gap between the release of early round decisions and the due dates of RDs somehow seemed to be warped and shortened. It took a day or two for my S19 to recover from the disappointment of being deferred, and he managed to finish, just in time, the other RDs that he had started some months prior.

    Just speaking from a logistics perspective, I am wondering if your son is also working on the applications for the RD round, just in case that he chooses to try other schools.
    N.B. Brown suggests sending in a graded paper, Princeton requires one. Dartmouth suggests sending in a LOR from the applicant's peers.

    Thank you! Yes, my son is EXTREMELY motivated. He submitted applications to 20 private schools in mid-September (19 regular decision), plus several SUNY schools as safeties. If we had started looking at colleges with him sooner, though, I don’t think as many applications would be necessary. He has asked for a peer recommendation for Dartmouth and submitted a graded paper for Princeton (not sure about Brown, so thanks for mentioning it). He knew he would be busy his Senior year and wanted to get as much done as possible over the summer.
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