Need & Admit Stats

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I have long thought that ED is better for the schools than the students.

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<p>That doesn't really matter, does it? Are the colleges competing against the students? And if it did matter, exactly how does one compare the magnitude of the college's benefit to the magnitude of the applicants' benefit?</p>

<p>The only question that matters for the student is whether ED is better for the student than RD. You point out a potential downside to ED for a student who has a "make or break" point in terms of need, but that's ameliorated by the predictive tools of the financial aid calculator and, possibly, "pre-reads" that some FA offices offer potential ED applicants so that they're not going in blind. If, however, you're shopping for best values, ED is probably not the best choice.</p>

<p>Of course there are benefits to ED for the student. It ends the college search process early, and (related to that) it saves on application fees and possible travel and visits and interviews at other colleges. At some colleges, the ED applicants may get a slight bump over their mythical "everything else is the same" doppelganger applicant, possibly earning an acceptance that the doppelganger won't claim. And even if the "bump" isn't firmly built in to the process, it could still happen if that college happens to be looking for a hard-to-find blue ribbon winning sweater-knitter and you happen to be one...and then, as it turns out, there are five more who apply RD but, because you applied early, they found a spot for you and may skip over the RD knitting champs.</p>

<p>I'm a cynic at heart myself and I'm of the opinion that ED programs wouldn't be around if the colleges didn't reap a big benefit from them. I just don't see why that matters to applicants who become collateral beneficiaries of an ED program. In fact, if you matriculate to a college that reaps a big benefit from its ED program, isn't that a good thing for you once you're on the other side of the application process and a full-fledged member of that college community?</p>