Denison is known to offer merit aid to a relatively large percentage of accepted students. If I apply Early Decision to Denison, am I less likely to be offered merit aid than I would be if I apply Regular Decision?
Anecdotally, Denison appears to be at least as generous with merit aid in ED as it might be otherwise be in RD – so no, no disadvantage to applying ED, particularly for a high stats kid looking for merit.
Denison is as generous with merit in ED as it is in regular decision, but if your ability to attend is contingent on merit aid, you cannot apply ED, because it is binding regardless of merit aid.
^ If you apply ED asking for aid and you don’t get enough to attend, you say “Thanks but no thanks” and apply elsewhere.
In my mind, the financial aid “out” for ED would not apply to a full-pay family who is counting on merit aid to make it work. When my student applied ED, we had gotten preliminary estimates from Admissions of what would be likely merit award, though we knew there were no guarantees. The actual award was higher than the estimate, but I certainly worried about whether the merit award would be sufficient for us. If a substantial merit award is the only way a school is affordable for a full-pay family, I would recommend having a specific conversation with your Admissions rep about what is reasonable.
Has anyone gotten their admission decision yet?