Does early admissions really help?

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>I have heard that applying early helps and all, but I've also heard that it hurts your chances because the candidacy pool is much stronger, even if there are less people. Which do you think is true?</p>

<p>Well it depends, I guess. If you are a reasonably strong candidate (high GPA, SAT scores in college range, good EC's etc.) ED can give you the extra boost you need, but ED can't make up for serious deficiencies an applicant has. So even though the ED pool may be stronger, if you are in the ballpark range for the college it can boost your chances.
EA is another story. At some colleges, EA simply means you get an earlier admissions decision, and nothing more. At other universities EA can give you a boost or hurt you. Like at MIT, sometimes the RD % acceptance is higher than the EA % acceptance due to the stronger EA pool. So, it really depends, but as I said if you are a good candidate it can only help.</p>

<p>It also depends on the school. If you are applying ED at one of the most selective colleges, then you need to be among the strongest candidates or be hooked (legacy, athletic recruit). These schools do not worry about yield, so they are not looking at ED for that.</p>

<p>Once you move into a lower range of selectivity, then being a less-than-top candidate is fine, because these schools do need to know that they will be locking in students to improve their yield. You still need to be within their stats range, but you should have a better odds going ED than RD.</p>


<p>yes, I would say it does help.</p>

<p>I think this varies a great deal by college. The most selective colleges (HYPS) no longer have ED. Almost all colleges below that tier in selectivity DO need to worry about yield, but some manage it more aggressively than others. Penn, for example, admits a very large percentage of its incoming class ED, partly as a yield management tool and partly to pick off the strongest students it worries about losing to similarly- or higher-ranked schools. If you're the kind of top-end candidate who is potentially a cross-admit at HYP, applying ED at Penn probably increases your chances of admission quite a bit. But if you're a candidate who would be a median student or lower in Penn's admission profile, then they still might take you ED for yield management purposes, but if there's another ED candidate ahead of you statistically you'll likely lose out to that candidate. Some other schools a step or two down the pecking order can't afford to be so choosy; they just want to lock in a chunk of their entering class and may take some median or even slightly below median students ED if necessary to fill, say, a quarter or a third (or sometimes more) of their entering class with a statistical profile that matches their target, and look to fill in the rest in the RD round.</p>

<p>In general I'd say if you're in the top quartile of students the school is looking for, ED will probably help you; but then, at all but the most selective schools being the top quartile is going to give you a pretty good chance even in the RD round. At less selective schools, ED will probably also help some students around the middle of the pack of their targeted statistical profile. If you're in the bottom quartile, ED probably won't help you much; they'll likely just defer you to RD and see if they can do better, or reject you outright if they think they can do better in either the ED or the RD round.</p>

<p>It depends. "Early" could mean a number of things, including the following:</p>

<p>Early Decision - This plan is binding. Choose this plan if the school that offers it is truly your first choice school and if you are absolutely positive you can cover the cost. Affluent students are the ones who apply ED most often. Applying ED does give an advantage at most schools that have the option. See this list to give you an idea of which schools applying ED to will help:</p>

<p>Colleges</a> Where Applying Early Decision Helps - US News and World Report</p>

<p>Early Action - This is a non-binding plan in which applicants typically must send off their applications by November 1st in order to receive a decision in mid-December. Early Action does not offer an advantage at most schools - in fact, at some selective schools (Yale and Stanford, specifically), applying Early Action is more difficult than applying Regular Decision because the most oustanding applicants usually apply EA. Here's a list of schools that offer Early Action with respective admission rates compared with Regular Decision:</p>

<p>Colleges</a> Where Applying Early Action Helps - US News and World Report</p>

<p>Rolling Admissions - If a school (such as the University of Michigan) has a rolling admissions policy, you better send in your application as soon as possible to have the best chance of securing a spot in the class. Rolling admissions means that acceptance letters are mailed out on a rolling basis; in other words, once the class spots start to fill up, it'll be considerably harder to get admitted.</p>

<p>Regular Decision - By far the most taken route, Regular Decision (often abbrevited RD) is the option where (for most colleges), students submit their application by January 1st and receive a decision by April 1st. Obviously, applying RD has no benefits, since the majority of applicants will also be doing so.</p>

<p>Hope this cleared it up. :)</p>