Is EA actually tougher than RD?

<p>Hey, I'll post something a guy I know said about EA vs. RD (or at least his understanding):</p>

<p>"Because they accept less applicants, and the applicants are much better qualified..adcoms might be willing to take a chance on RD, but those who get in EA are the cream of the cream of the cream of the crop"</p>

<p>So he was saying its actually tougher EA than RD. Anyone else agree or disagree with his opinions? I didn't really think about that concept until he said it. So does anyone know?</p>

<p>yes it is more difficult if you are not an elite applicant. basically they only take the kids that they know they would take no matter how freakishly strong the RD round could possibly be. if you are one of those elite applicants, early rd is a way for you to get it over with. if you are clearly not one of the elite applicants, you will definitely hurt yourself by insisting on applying early. keep in mind that for harvard and yale, interest is not a factor and they themselves constantly say this. they don't worry about yield--they know kids are dying to go</p>

<p>I don't know. I do know that statistically it was still easier to get in EA to Yale than RD. I have not seen a breakdown on the statistics of the EA crowd vs the RD applicants, however, which would give some indication of whether the early kids are stronger candidates. I do know that this has been the party line since I applied to colleges more than 30 years ago--that the early applicants are far stronger. But my observations over time have not confirmed this, and a couple of years ago some researchers wrote "The Early Game". They delved into actual admissions data in a number of schools and discovered that it was not the case. Even excluding the special category kids (athletes for instance), the early applicants who were accepted were not superior to the RD kids; in fact, they were statistically weaker, on average about 100 points down on the SAT1. </p>

<p>However, that is all PAST data. What is happening now could be a whole different story. I do believe that Early kids do have an advantage just from a psychological viewpoint. When you are filling the party with guests, the first candidates you are much more generous, until you start running out of room. Right now the adcoms are sitting like Maytag repairmen waiting for the onslaught. They want to admit kids, get the class shaping up. So I would think that it is just human nature that they would be more generous in the beginning. By January when the deluge hits, they have read thousands of essays, looked a laundry lists of ECs, seen it all and they are tired. Their job by then is to cull, and they look to eliminate, not bring in as there are so many more applicants than there are spots. But until we have actual numbers to support this it is just a theory.</p>

<p>At a Yale info session last year, the group was told that if they were serious about Yale, they'd be crazy not to apply early.</p>

<p>Sure the competition is more concentrated and probably tougher than RD, but they're also taking a significantly higher percentage early than regular.</p>

<p>Even with SCEA, you're indicating a strong (if not absolute) commitment to attend, so you're bound to be viewed more favorably.</p>

<p>More important, however, is this: If you decide to apply early to a school, make sure it's the one you really want to go to. Don't play're only doing yourself a disservice if you do.</p>

<p>wow thanks. really informative. personally id like to see that jamimom/nycdad are right, and that itll HELP that I apply EA. But whatever, I'm a cynical guy like everyone else, so until then I'll assume im getting rejected :D</p>

<p>Jamimom I think you are referring to ED schools like Penn and Princeton that have weaker early pools because ED attracts those kinds of students. It is well-known that the early pool is much much stronger than the regular pool at Harvard and Yale. I wish I had some figures to show you, but I don't. Nonetheless, I've never seen anything to point to the opposite--only the best students apply early from my school. </p>

<p>The head counselor at Yale visited us a couple weeks ago and told us that it'd be very foolish to do EA without being one of the top students, and this is considering the fact that my school is the #1 feeder school to Yale. She explicitly said that they have higher standards for the early pool and that they probably will not be taking the 3.8 1460s with interesting activities in the early round. The counseling office has discouraged a number of my friends from applying Yale EA, even though some of them are DOUBLE legacy and very rich and high 1400s. </p>

<p>Maybe it's a different scene for the rest of the world, but I doubt it.</p>

<p>And it is important to note that Yale, being the progressive institution under Levin's stewardship that it has been, stopped tracking college visits and contacts and switched from ED to EA for the VERY purpose of preventing interest to take precedence over competence. It is a true statement that many schools fret about their yield, but I regret to say that I do not think Yale is one of them.</p>

<p>Take a look at the book I mentioned. The authors did quite an analysis of early candidates at a number of schools and the conclusion they came to was that applying early had the same effect on admissions as 100 points on the SAT would, on average. </p>

<p>You are right in that the early crowd tends to be stronger as these kids tend to be from the upper/middle socioeconomic crowd, and just to get that app in early shows that these kids are on the ball over the procrastinators who are crouched over their computers on New Year's Eve praying that the online app will send at touch before the ball drops in Time Square. But in the years that I have worked with kids, I have found a much higher accept rate early, particularly for kids with a high academic profile but no hooks. It seems that the adcoms are much more generous at the onset of this process but as the apps come rolling in, the 1000th violinist, the 2000th football captain who is not playing college ball, another community service heart tugging essay starts getting old, and it seems that each year the kids are stronger and stronger academically as well, and someone who looked pretty good in the fall is run of the mill in Jan/Feb. </p>

<p>I am surprised that the counselors are discouraging the double legacies with the high 1400s from applying early. Those are the very kids (with good transcripts as well) that I see getting in early. RD is very, very rough and those kids seem to need some good hooks to get in as the seats left are very limited. The regional rep seemed to encourage these guys to apply early. I would not say we are a top feeder school to Yale, but we get double digits in applicants, and about half the kids get accepted. Many legacies and special categories, however. I do not know anyone who was accepted RD last year that did not fall into a "hook" pool, but several kids did get in early with high academic profiles with so-so ECs. But there are not very many 3.8s at this school either. A 3.4 or 3.5 can get you in the top 10 of the class, and kids here do get into Yale with that gpa from this school. The gpa is unweighted.</p>

<p>I only had one kid apply EA for Yale last year, that I tutored. He did get in with a top academic record and scores, but no real hooks. Several who were close to him in profile did not get in later.</p>

<p>Justice, you mention the "top" kids should apply. Did the counselor from Yale tell you what you should have be a top kid and apply? Does this mean 1600/800x3 or more like 1500+ top rank, etc?</p>

<p>the key is really gpa/course difficulty: the entire academic profile needs to be as strong as it ever will be for early applicants. My friends have mediocre GPAs and Yale will not tolerate a middle-of-the-pack GPA regardless of the situation. It is very possible for kids to get fairly high scores, hard classes, and simply not have the gpa. A senior who lived next to me last yr had a 1600 and brilliant scores but never made honor roll! He was discouraged from applying early anywhere and Harvard and Yale didn't want him, but he got into a number of schools: Swarthmore, Pomona, Berkeley, UCLA. The thing is that once the gpa goes under a certain number, it is exceedingly difficult to be a competitive applicant. In that case, those students are much better off working their butts off senior fall and winter and retesting than trying to harness the "early boost."</p>

<p>That's exactly my pt--early is for statistically powerful applicants and it does help them. I completely agree with that. I just think that the "early boost" only applies to that small fraction of academic elite and that the boost is nonexistent for most people. If you have top rank and near 800s for everything, you could consider yourself in that fraction. </p>

<p>Just to give you another example, a close friend almost did MIT EA instead of Yale EA just because she was afraid of the legendary Yale EA competition. Luckily I talked her out of it, but this should illustrate the fact that HYS EA should not be viewed as an an additional way to boost your app. Last year, 26 seniors applied early and 6 got in. 15 got in total, many of whom were deferred earlier (they likely wanted to see senior yr grades).</p>

<p>This thread is making me very nervous. I am applying to Yale early and I'm a strong candidiate, but I'm not amazing like so many of the other people here. My SAT scores aren't "woah" and neither are my SAT IIs. (740V, 730M, 760 Bio, 750 US History, 730 Writing), I have an unweighted gpa of 3.97 (all honors and aps) and I'm the typical overextended-actively involved in every activity possible high school student. I could go on.... but my basic concern is.. do these new findings that EA is harder mean that I have no chance whatsoever?</p>

<p>Im in the exact same position as you ritzbitz....GOOD student who does a TON within the school and community...but who is just always 1 step behind the superstars academically. Who knows? HYPSetc. cant be filled will all 1500+s/4.4s</p>

<p>i hope it gives me good chances. i mean im in an all right spot, like good scores, good Extra curriculars, i think i may have a small hook, but still, im probably on the fence. Hence why i started this thread, to see what the consensus is. So the consensus is that its unsure. Justice says it works against, jamimom says it works for.......only december 15 will tell</p>

<p>ea is easier. ANY early admission process is easier than rd. for SURE.</p>

<p>i thought that if you applied ea and got rejected you could still apply rd? is this not the case?</p>

<p>if you get deferred you are put in the regular applicant pool.. but rejected you can't apply again that year</p>

<p>One reason the early pool could be stronger was alluded to by someone else - it takes a certain amount of organization to get the application in on time. I think that at super competitive schools, regular decision time also includes a lot of kids who, for $75 or whatever it costs, want to be able to say they applied to X (or Y, in this case). It may sound silly, but it does happen. Add in enough of those applications from all over the country and the regular pool may statistically be weaker, but could still have a larger number of outstanding candidates at the top of the pool. Maybe only 15% of the regular decision apps. were admitted, but you have far more lottery tickets in that group than you do in the early group. Hope this makes sense.</p>

<p>this is the best explanation ive heard. I think that is right. There are probably about 1000+ more amazing applications rd than ea. I know at my school, there are a few students who are gpa wise better than me and have taken harder classes but none want to apply to harvard ea, where I want to apply. They want to apply to yale ea and mit ea and so on, etc. The thing is, ill be the best or second best candidate from my school and we are pretty competitive. Where im going with this is, all of these 5 or so kids who are statistically superior to me might apply to harvard rd, maybe not, but I can see why there would be more amazing applications rd than ea. I also like that psycology factor, where adcoms will be a little more flexible. They are looking for unique kids at the beginning to help fill up spots and fill the class up so that they wont have to sift through 20000 apps, where the great majority of them will be kinda junky. There will be more amazing apps rd than ea, im saying, but adcoms will not want to waste as much time sifting through the huge pile to find the ones that are amazing, just because it will be probability wise much harder to find.</p>

<p>My advice to all is to look at last year's CC archived threads from November and December. Look at the profiles of students who were deferred and rejected during SCEA last year. Applications for SCEA were up from roughly 2600 to over 4000 and as many have said before me , it IS a very self-selecting pool. The cream of the cream are there. Last year if memory serves me, Yale offered SCEA admission to about 600-650 of the 4000 plus who applied. Yes the odds are better, mathematically, in SCEA but the pool is also much stronger.</p>

<p>My son's school had 6 apply SCEA. Three were accepted, two were deferred and one was rejected. In RD, the two who were deferrred got in as did two others for a total of 7 admits. </p>

<p>Our position (and mindset through the process knowing what a crapshoot it really is) was expecting him to be deferred and having a good shot RD. Fortunately, he was one of the three accepted in SCEA.</p>

<p>If you feel that your application is strong ( remember everyone applying is going to have amazing grades, scores and ECs) and your essays really bring you to life (HINT, HINT) so that they can see the person behind the numbers, (I can't stress the essays enough since the admissions rep spoke and wrote to him about them after he was admitted) I would apply SCEA and hope for a worst case scenario of deferral to RD.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>