Columbia ED vs Penn ED + Legacy?

I’d be ecstatic to go to either college, but my current concern is that both the valedictorian and salutorian of my school are applying to Penn ED to CAS and Wharton, respectively. I have pretty solid EC’s but am just in the top decile, not top 2 of my class w/ even better EC’s, so im wondering if I have a better chance competing with my fellow peers from my school for Penn ED or Columbia ED even though the latter is more selective?

You really aren’t competing with other students from your school. They do not consider that in the process. They may admit many or none from a particular school. I would think you have the best shot with legacy.

@Much2learn is right; Both of the valedictorians from my HS and I applied RD to Penn (One of the valedictorians was a legacy, I and the other one were not) and all three of us were admitted and attended. If anything, legacy will boost your chances.

And I wouldn’t say that Columbia is more selective, but that’s a conversation for another day. It does have a lower admissions rate and a higher middle 50th percentile of SAT scores, if that’s what you’re saying. Apply where you think you’ll be happiest. If you’ll be equally happy at both, then apply to the school at which you feel your chances are best.