Early Decision = Better Scholarships?

I’ve heard that the early decision applicant pool has a higher rate of admittances, but has there ever been any rumor of a higher rate of scholarships offered by the school? I’m interested in NYU, a school famous for its stingy merit scholarships and I’m trying to increase my chances of being able to afford it. Do schools save most of their money for regular decision or would early decision applicants receive most of the funds? Is it a toss-up?

Since a college knows that an ED applicant commits to attend, it could theoretically be less generous with merit scholarships, since it is not competing against other colleges to lure the student. It just needs to guess what the applicant’s budget limit is and make a scholarship or financial aid offer that just crosses that threshold.

Whether any given college does this is known only within the college admission and financial aid offices.

Yes, in general, it will be harder for an ED admit to get merit scholarships although that is not always the case.

I would not ED to a school unless the net price calculator indicates that it will be affordable. NYU is known for poor merit aid.

Schools wth ED tend to be very desirable. Merit is not an extra bonus for excellence. It’s a tool schools use to get excellent students to choose them. ED schools tend not to have to use this tool to fill a class with superior students.

NYU is known for poor aid in all categories, not just merit.

The general thought has been that ED reduces a students chance for merit aid as the schools knows you are committed to attend even with 0 merit aid.

Insufficient aid is the only legitimate reason to decline ED.

I think early application for merit is more for the schools that offer merit scholarships, the earlier you apply for them, the more likely you are to get money. Most often these are schools with rolling admissions, but have deadlines for applying for the scholarships. They give it out first come first serve. It’s not the same as early decision for admission.

Merit scholarships are, in part, incentive to get you to choose their school. If you apply ED, there is no need for them to sweeten the pot.

And I know at least one college that gives equal merit to ED and RD.

Colleges like it when they know an admitted student is definitely coming. But if they didn’t give merit scholarships for ED or RD then many students would avoid that school…