Can I apply EA to other schools even though I’ve already committed (D3)?

Hi all,

I have committed to ED’ing to a NESCAC to swim. I am in love with the school and I know for a fact that I want to spend my next four years there. Knowing that simply committing to a D3 is by no means a guarantee of getting in, I would like to apply to some backups in case if things fall through. However, I know that colleges can see where I apply and I don’t want to negatively impact my relationship with coach apply to other schools while I wait on my ED decision.

I’d like to know, is it ethical for me to apply EA to other schools given my commitment or should I wait and see what the ED decision is and then apply regular if necessary?

Colleges can see where one applies? I didn’t know this. I too was wondering to what extent kids committed to a school apply to other schools, “just in case”.

Nothing ethically wrong with this as long as you comply with your ED agreement and don’t run afoul of any EA restrictions on the other side.

Go in ahead and apply. As you noted, you could be left holding the bag if your ED school does not accept you. I’ve seen that happen

I might’ve been wrong when saying that colleges see where you apply. I made an assumption without doing my research. Ignore that little bit.

We are also doing the same (applying EA) as a backup and contingency with the clear intent to still go with the school we committed if officially accepted.

Every athlete I know applied to a backup school in addition to whatever school recruited them. Especially during these times, where schools are dropping entire sports, I wouldn’t hesitate to advice my kid to apply a back up school, adhering to any of the rules of ED of course.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter whether I apply EA or regular to these backup schools?

Additionally, how many schools do you guys recommend applying to EA, in addition to my ED school?

I don’t know why it would matter. FYI I don’t think I would bring this up with your (likely) coach, but I would be honest if asked.

Number depends on how confident you are about the ED. I probably wouldn’t do a lot of essays for other schools unless I had a reason to be hesitant about the ED.

On that topic, if you haven’t yet I would ask the coach just how solid the ED is. That answer can range from “you get a solid bump and are 50/50” to “I have never had a kid not accepted that I asked to ED”. Normally I let my kid handle coach communication, but for scholarship information and admissions information I asked for clarification, even if he was confident he had the right information. At the school he ended up at, he actually got a very early offer that I didn’t expect. I kept asking the coach in slightly different ways if he really had an offer and how solid it was. By the end the coach was laughing. We had a similar conversation later about how safe he was in ED. Ultimately he felt safe enough he didn’t do any other apps, although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going that route.

Piggybacking on @dadof4kids post, my D21 last week received assurance from admissions and the coach that she will be admitted ED. So I would think they could give you at least a strong indication of where you stand.

Has the coach said they are offering you their full support, and you also have a positive pre-read? Is the school affordable per their net price calculator?

Generally, one should always have a plan B. It is common and ethical to apply to other schools even though verbally committed to a D3 school.

I strongly encourage you to apply to a school or two with rolling admissions, or unrestricted EA.

Good luck.

Coach never specifically said full support, but he certainly seemed to imply that in our communications. Thankfully, money is non-issue in my family and we can pay full price pretty much anywhere.

I feel like I have a good shot of getting in with his support, however it’s a pretty damn good school and I’m by no means totally confident. That’s why I’d like to apply to as many schools as possible, basically every school on my Top 15 list that has EA/rolling (A mix of LACs where I could swim and Power 5 state schools where I’d be doing club). While that may seem like a lot, I just want to get ahead of the game wherever I can. Is that too many schools?

It is fine as long as you have enough time to make each application (including school specific essays) as strong as it can possibly be.

I think 15 is too many.

You can also have the applications ready but not submit them until you hear about the ED. Most ED decisions are out before the RD apps are due.

Your parents can speak to the coach about what exactly his support means. The coach will have had conversations like this before. Personally, being a bit lazy myself, I would prefer to know how much the coach support means before putting in the effort to apply to 15 other schools.

Definitely talk to the coach. After the prereads, the coaches of the NESCAC schools that offered to my kids basically said you are in 90-99% if you apply ED. They answer this question routinely if they don’t volunteer it.

Only if they are offering full support though…which OP said isn’t clear.

That’s what OP (and parents) have to understand…is it full support, and what is the historical proportion of athletes accepted with similar circumstances.

The answers to those questions will dictate how many EA apps to submit.

My kids made backup applications to a state school. We were full pay everywhere, but for the first D we were coming out of the 2008 recession.

They both got in to their ED schools.

^^ Yes, the point is OP needs to know exactly what the level of coach support is and what it means for that school to determine how many other schools to apply to. This is not a “read the tea leaves” question or moment, and coaches at this stage expect this question and generally are very straightforward in their answer. Full support/slot is worlds apart from “soft” support.

My D21 has a positive pre-read, full support from coach, and coach said “the only time kids don’t get in is if they screw up (disciplinary or grades).” So we are only doing a back up at a state school (safety school) based on that. I did not even think about doing an EA.