D3 -changing ED to RD after common app submission but before November 1

This is regarding Recruiting and coaches support at High Academic D3’s.

Since D3 recruiting is only 98% sure with coaches support and never 100% guaranteed admissions, can you change your ED1 to RD after you have submitted your application on October 1st (as an example) but before November 1st deadline?

The idea is, maybe you did not get a likely letter as promised by October 15th, so you changed the ED1 to RD at the first College and submitted the common app to another D3 by November 1st as ED1.

Is this possible without breaking any rules?

This question doesn’t make sense to me. First of all, of course you can change your application! But the issue is, will there be any consequences to doing so?

I’m reading a bunch of assumptions under your scenario, and I may be wrong about them. But, if you’re an athletic recruit and submitting an ED application I ASSUME that means you have coach support. If you at the last minute switch to RD, wouldn’t the coach be upset? I ASSUME they would be, as they are using up some of their valuable support on your athlete. And if, because you’re athlete is now RD and the coach pulls their support, you’ve made it very hard for them to get another recruit they really want at the last minute. Conclusion: it is likely you are burning a bridge with that coach.

As for the non-appearing Likely Letter, doesn’t that mean the athlete is pursuing an Ivy school? In order to get a Likely Letter, wouldn’t the athlete have had to apply to the Ivy ED? I am not well versed in Ivy recruiting so my questions/assumptions may be off base.

Also, if athletic recruiting is 98% certain at an elite D3, the athlete would have to be insane to ditch coach support because there is a 2% chance of not getting admitted, while there is a 98% chance of it working out . . .

what do you think @arbitrary99 @57special @cinnamon1212 @AlwaysMoving @hmom16

If you switch schools, and get in at the second school ED, that’s now your school and it doesn’t matter if the first school coach is mad at you - you aren’t going there!

If you switch and ED at another school but don’t get in there and want to go to the original ED school (now RD), the coach might be mad but he still got the student he originally recruited (YOU) so he has nothing to be mad about.

So your question really is, can you switch your ED application from one school to a different school? Because you got a better offer?

If you are promised a likely letter or equivalent from a coach, you apply ED with the LL to follow, but the LL never arrives, then you need to talk to the coach. Sometimes the likely letters are just late. If the coach is vague and wishy washy then you might want to check out your other options.

From what I have seen through friends and teammates, the only times a promised LL from an Ivy doesn’t work out is because something popped up during the application read that soured admission’s opinion. Such as suspension or bad letter of rec.

The question is, if one coach asked for the application on October 1st (with full support given) and promises to give you a LL…but for whatever reason, you did not get one by 10/15 as promised. Since Nov 1st is the application deadline for other D3s, can you change the ED1 with the first college app on October 15th to RD, which would allow you to apply Nov 1st to a D3 college ED1. The main point being that all this is transpiring before the November 1st Deadline. Ty

Since this is my first recruited athlete, I am trying to understand all options. I am not looking to burn bridges or suggest to my child anything unethical. Hedging would the appropriate word here. We have coaches support but I have read instances on this board that acceptance did not come as promised. And this ED1 kind of puts the kid in a tough spot if you fall into that 2% (arbitrary number) that the coaches support doesn’t work out with admissions.

Just looking to understand all options in order to make best decisions for college bound recruit! Thank you.

Thank you for the replies.
@Alwaysmoving mentioned “switching”

Are you telling me you can switch before Nov 1? Common App FAQ said you cannot change the app once it is sent to a college, but that future submissions to other colleges can have changes.

After talking with coach of first college you did not get the likely letter from as promised, how would you change the ED! before the Nov 1st deadline?

i am just asking if it can be done. obviously we are a few months away but I am planning for all contingencies. Thank you.

Yes, you can change an ED app to a RD app before the ED decisions are issued.


Thank you - but can you please tell me how to change with first college?

A phone Call?

I would think that you would need your guidance counselor’s support in order to be allowed to pull an ED application at one school in order to ED at another. You’re not the only party who doesn’t want to burn bridges with colleges!

Such support may or may not be difficult to obtain. If the GC is acting ethically, s/he would at the very least require proof that the ED application was, in fact, changed to RD. I could see them shutting off the permission spigot if multiple students attempt this tactic. It creates more work for them, and they may feel it makes them appear complicit in a sort of “bait and switch”.

I want to make sure I’m giving you good advice, and “likely letter” can mean a lot of different things. Is this an Ivy league school or is this a school where the coach promises a spot? I understand you might not want to say the school name, but even the conference would help us.

Obviously this is a generalization and you would need to consult the school in question, but normally an applicant can change their application from ED to RD BEFORE the ED deadline without a problem.

I kind of think you are overthinking this.

Has your child gotten a pre-read from Admissions and passed?

Has the coach said “You have a spot on the team, and I will support your application with Admissions”?

If the answer to those questions is “yes” then you can be as comfortable as anyone can be that your child will be admitted.

(Well, unless the school is MIT or similar where coach pull is not very strong. But you said there was 98% certainty, which is a more typical D3 athletic recruiting scenario)

If the likely letter doesn’t appear by October 15, then it could mean there was some explainable delay, in which case, no you would not want to change the ED application right? Or, could it mean the coach suddenly pulled support? Without telling you? I believe that is incredibly, incredibly rare. In that scenario if you were to switch to another school for ED, would your child be able to get coach support at that second school? It seems (without knowing the facts obviously) pretty unlikely because that second coach has probably used up all his spots with Admissions already.

Is the first school your child’s first choice even without the sport (as people recommend)? If so, why not keep the first application ED?

Anyway, probably all of the above is unnecessary – if the coach has offered a spot on the team and has said s/he’d support the application with admissions, I would not spend a lot of energy planning out a strategy for an extremely unlikely outcome.

I agree with @cinnamon1212 and others that, if a recruited athlete has passed a pre-read, has coach support, and has asked the right questions such as “how many athletes with my type of stats and this level of support been admitted, deferred, rejected over the past 5 years.” If the answer is satisfactory – that the athlete and family are comfortable that the chances of acceptance are safely high, then a late likely letter hardly seems reason to basically pull out of that school and try to make it happen somewhere else with an ED app. Also, it doesn’t sound particularly realistic, though I suppose it’s possible, to have committed to one school, and presumably told other schools had committed to that school, then not get a LL on time, and then have time to revive interest with another school and still have a spot and support, at another school, all within a matter of days. By the time the D3 is getting to ED deadline, the coach has likely filled his/her needs by then with current recruits.

Basically, if an applicant has committed to one program, with an offer of a roster spot and the expectation of ED or SCEA etc, then it is expected that the athlete has communicated that to all other schools and stopped the recruiting process with them.

And yes, burning coaches is a bad approach, as head coaches and assistants move. But yes, a recruit can switch an app from ED to RD before the deadline, but they are presumably also giving up the spot as a recruit.

I agree with all of the above, adding coaches can not promise a likely letter, those can only come from admissions. Only some D3 schools issue likely letters at all anyway, and not all accepted athletes receive LLs, at any school.

Thank you all for your prompt responses - I believe my questions were answered and quite frankly it is all pretty hypothetical anyway. Thank you for not naming colleges.

I have first hand knowledge of how this works as my daughter got lassoed into a sport closure after she had applied ED via common app. Only difference is this wasn’t for D3 but how it works from common app’s point of view would still be applicable. We were able to contact the school that closed her sport and told them she would no longer be interested in the school as there was no sport and we could never afford the private school tuition without the athletic & merit full ride. The school wanted us to email them to make it official as there is no way to cancel the application on common app once its been submitted.

Fortunately my daughter has options at other schools and when we tried to apply ED to another school that wanted to recruit her common app said it wasn’t allowed. After contacting common app directly we were told unless the school had a ED1 or ED2 there is no way to apply to any new school as an ED due to how common app has it set up on there end. Once an ED option was utilized it was no longer available for any other schools.

Some things to consider at least with the schools we have looked at is you can apply either ED via common app or through their internal application. My daughter could have applied ED to school number 2 using their internal application but decided against it just in case everything starts going sideways again.

@zzbaron Thank you! This is the info I was looking for regarding the Common App.