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SCEA vs. RD Decisions

breaker746breaker746 Registered User Posts: 449 Member
edited December 2011 in Princeton University
So, do you guys think that there will be a significant difference in selectivity between the early rounds and regular rounds? I'm kind of worried because I regret not doing SCEA in fear that I may have lost my only shot at Princeton. The admissions at these schools always claim that the students they accept early would be the same exact caliber as students accepted in RD rounds, which obviously have a lot more applicants. But considering the 20% early acceptance vs. the likely <10% RD acceptance...that logic doesn't really make sense (ik early has more legacy and athletes though). So what do you guys think? Will they take only higher caliber applicants in the RD round vs. the early round?
Post edited by breaker746 on

Replies to: SCEA vs. RD Decisions

  • snipersassnipersas Registered User Posts: 679 Member
    It's well known that SCEA admissions are significantly easier then RD admissions. So yes, they will only take higher caliber students.
  • decilliondecillion Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    It's well known that SCEA admissions are significantly easier then RD admissions.

    That's a false interpretation of data. Simply because the admit rate is higher SCEA doesn't mean it's "easier" to get in. Most of the admitted SCEA students are legacies, athletes, URMs, and first-gen/low-income students. The rest of the admitted SCEA students are typically unhooked, solid, stand out applicants that Princeton/Yale/Harvard/Stanford would definitely take RD. And simply being a legacy student won't necessarily get you in SCEA. I know of a family friend who was deferred SCEA, despite having a 2200, a decent GPA, and multiple generations of family legacy (including a couple siblings who are current undergrads at Princeton). This is also the case with a few kids at my school and other local area high schools. Regardless, you have to meet HYP standards, whatever they may be for your particular demographic. These standards will not falter simply because you're applying a few months earlier than most people.

    In addition, HYPS cannot rely on applying through SCEA as an absolute indication of a student's first choice college. While some students might genuinely commit to Princeton as soon as they find out, as I did, others plan on applying to other peer schools RD and are not as invested in their SCEA school as one might think. Therefore, as SCEA is nonbinding, there is no inherent or explicit advantage to applying early other than an earlier notice of your admissions decision.

    Your theory that early admissions are easier than regular admissions is true pretty much for all ED schools (Columbia, Penn, Johns Hopkins), except for those that adamantly declare ED does not benefit your application (like Dartmouth). Those students are locked in and colleges need to be careful about the other ~55% of the entering freshman class they will be selecting RD.

    Back on point - yes, selectivity wise (meaning pure admissions rates without any analysis of data), SCEA is more generous than RD, simply because more quality applicants are applying in the early pool and thus more quality applicants will be chosen (generally hooked applicants and those who are confident in their credentials as of November 1, such as testing, extracurriculars, essays, recs, and grades). For Princeton RD admissions specifically, expect around a 6% admit rate. Princeton's 726 SCEA admits represent 31% to 36% of their total admits. (Approximately ~2200 admits in total... they might be less generous than last year which had around 2300 admits simply because they know their yield will be higher with SCEA admits). Therefore, approximately 1,476 admits RD out of a pool of ~23,746 (last year's total apps received [27,189] minus this year's [3,443] SCEA apps)... which yields a very ROUGH approximate RD acceptance rate of 6.2%.
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