Help! Forced into making an Early decision!

<p>Any advice is appreciated! I have to act quickly (obviously) and have no idea what to do.</p>

<p>Today, while discussing the college process with my parents (again), my dad told me that he thinks I should apply early to a school. In his opinion, applying early is only a win-win situation; he is very analytical. However, I am torn between a fair amount of schools. I see that each of the schools I'm interested in has different benefits. I would rather apply regular decision so that I don't get extremely excited to go to one school, and then get rejected. To me, it's seems very painful to have one rejection weighing on me for months. Regardless, my dad thinks that I'm being illogical and need to make a decision and apply early. As easy as it is to say, just don't apply early, I feel like in this case I don't have a decision because my dad is so stubborn. (Financial Aid packages don't make a difference in my decision. Also, my dad is a very smart man and very opinionated.) </p>

<p>Some background info on me: Class of 2012 -- current senior. I'm a good student (4.2 GPA currently) and near the top of my class although my school doesn't rank (uses GPA distribution). Scored a 33 on my ACT with all subscores at a 33 or higher. I have several extracurriculars that span multiple years, with a few leadership positions. I'm an AP Scholar with Distinction. I've taken a rigorous schedule each year and will graduate with 10 APs. My class in school is very competitive and my school is ranked very highly by US News and World. I have low confidence in myself and feel like I won't get into any of the colleges on my list, although my guidance counselor says they're good fits. The colleges I'm looking at are all very different : Yale, Pomona, WUSTL, Vanderbilt, McGill, Lehigh and Richmond.</p>

<p>ANY suggestions you have are appreciated! Thanks for reading all of this!</p>

<p>Apply to a school that has Early Action, so it still allows you to apply to a school in regular decision</p>

<p>The easy-out here is to apply SCEA to Yale. It's non-binding (so you can apply regular to the rest whether you get accepted or not), but since it's Single-Choice, it's not like he can even get you to go ED somewhere else too.</p>

<p>That said, applying ED to a school that you are not 100% sure you'd want to attend is not a good idea. You could try sorting out why you don't know where you want to attend, but idk how much more you can do that at this point.</p>

<p>I agree with the advise to apply SCEA to Yale. YOU have noting to lose by doing so.</p>

<p>Instead of applying to one SCEA school, why not apply to multiple non-restrictive EA schools? There are so many good schools to choose from. You can apply to any or all of the following - Chicago, Boston College, Georgetown, Michigan, MIT, UVa, etc.</p>

<p>If you haven't visited these places, do NOT apply ED.</p>

<p>Lehigh and Richmond are a borderline safeties for admissions in the RD round, so no need to consider them. I'm guessing McGill is a safety too.</p>

<p>Pomona, WashU, Yale and Vandy clearly are much different schools and cultures, with little similarities besides high USNews ranking.</p>

<p>Thanks to everyone who's posted. I'm feeling so much calmer. My dad and I actually talked again and he seemed to have more of an understanding of how I'd rather apply to schools. Phew, relief. </p>

<p>Question, though, if I do decide to apply somewhere SCEA or EA, do I continue to submit my RD applications before I recieve admissions decisions? Or do I have to wait for the EA decision?</p>

<p>And I do realize that almost every school I'm looking at is different. But there are common themes between them and I have done extensive research. Please don't think that I made my list purely based off rankings.</p>

<p>Question, though, if I do decide to apply somewhere SCEA or EA, do I continue to submit my RD applications before I receive admissions decisions?</p>

<p>YES. If you're accepted SCEA and decide that's where your going, then you simply notify the other colleges of your decision and withdraw your application.</p>

<p>Or do I have to wait for the EA decision?</p>

<p>NO, you don't HAVE to wait. But, you may want to wait to submit your other applications, if in fact you end up being rejected SCEA [and 93% are, lets face facts] You MAY want to rethink where you are applying and reevaluate your essays. I DO highly recommend you have your other applications ready to go before you hear back from your SCEA college. </p>

<p>DS wasn't rejected SCEA, but he was deferred, and that was a wake up call , believe me. He hadn't done his other essays yet, and having to write them, and submit his applications during Xmas vacation, was NOT fun.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone! I ended up not ED-ing anywhere. I did EA to Tulane and recieved an acceptance with a great merit scholarship! It was also a great way to relieve some pressure!</p>

<p>If Tulane's scholarship makes it affordable and you like Tulane, it is now your safety. You need not apply to any schools which you would not choose over Tulane under any circumstances.</p>

<p>Thanks ucbalumnus. I realized the same thing. Unfortunately, the only schools that I haven't applied to yet are schools that I would most likely choose over Tulane if accepted. My application list is a little different from the one that I originally posted and Tulane is my safety school.</p>

<p>^just be aware: Tulane does not meet full financial need, so the merit scholly maybe all that Tulane offers. If you have a lot of need, a meets-full-need college can be a better financial deal.</p>

<p>Thanks for the pointer, bluebayou. I'm lucky that I don't need to apply for FA, but I didn't know that about Tulane!</p>

<p>ED definitively increases you chances of getting accepted to a school...(I can go on and on about why, but trust me, it does help, no matter what colleges or individuals with authority say...it does). But RD is still ok to do if you don't have a dream school in mind that you can reach. Also, most school are past their ED date anyway if that plays a factor.</p>

<p>PS: Good comeback to your dad</p>

<p>If I ED, I still have to apply to other colleges and send out application now via the guidance department in case I don't get accepted early. Those application fees cost from 50-90$ each and you will lose all that money if I get accepted early because those fees are non-refundable. There's some analysis...even though that few hundred bucks isn't much considering you maybe going to a college that requires 50K a year.</p>