Questions Regarding Early Decision

<p>D1 is a college freshman. She started visiting schools during the summer before junior year and had a solid list of schools to apply to by the early Fall of her senior year. She had a #1 choice, which she applied Early Action, and is attending. She applied to 6 other schools- 4were either EA or rolling. The other 2 were only ED or RD, so she did RD.</p>

<p>I have a high school freshman, and seeing the high acceptance rate for ED gets me wondering if we should pursue this for D2. </p>

<p>My questions are:
1)For all of the kids applying ED- How much research did you do to come up with the #1 choice school that if your child got in, they would be absolutely happy?</p>

<p>2) When did your college search start (freshman year, junior year?)</p>

<p>3) How many schools did your child look at before coming up with the ED choice?</p>

<p>4) If your child attended an ED school- are they happy? Do they have any regrets?</p>

<p>We've always known my son would want either engineering or some kind of math or science.</p>

<p>His school went on trips when he was in 9th & 10th grade visiting different areas. It wasn't until 11th grade that he started knowing more what he was looking for, and we had an idea of his gpa, speculated his sat's from his psat scores. Last winter we began in earnest deciding size, location, gender mix, etc. He firmly knew nothing small, no tech school only, if he wanted to change majors he wanted to be able without transferring, wanted most kids living on campus for at least fresh/soph year. Then the kicker, he wanted it as close to 50/50 male-female ratio as possible and he absolutely did not want south, though I snuck in a NC school on him. </p>

<p>With that I searched collegeboard with his stats and started looking at that thing on the side... people who viewed this, also viewed that. </p>

<p>We visited local schools when we had time. We flew out to look at another on a day off of school. Then we planned the big road trip over spring break. He was liking every school he saw, so I thought he would like everything. Nope, spring break cut out a ton of schools, but really solidified what he wanted. So, we essentially had the list at spring of Junior year.</p>

<p>Then this year as he did interviews and thought more, we added a few he didn't visit, but we all knew from what he did like, that he'd be okay at as well. </p>

<p>He got a letter from a school asking if he wanted to switch to ed2. He thought about it for a day, it was one of his 2 top schools, he spoke to some teachers who knew him well, and came back and said let's go for it. He would be happiest there, but he has a bunch of back up applications in already. </p>

<p>Of course I want him to get in his ed school, but I recognize if he doesn' get in he'll be okay at the others as well.</p>

<p>1) ED school was the last one visited. FA at the ED school was published to meet 100% of need so there was little risk of sticker shock. My daughter compared all of the schools on her list and ranked it #1. I believe that we did our due diligence.</p>

<p>2) College visits started summer before Junior Year and finished up about one month before Senior year started.</p>

<p>3) We visited nine schools formally and a few more informally.</p>

<p>4) I'll let you know if she is accepted tomorrow and attends in the fall.</p>

<p>ED is great for some people, but it really isn't for everybody.</p>

<p>Many people on CC will tell you that ED really isn't for applicants who will really rely on financial aid. (I am one of those people.) Even in the case of a university that will meet need, that doesn't necessarily mean that the applicant couldn't do better by shopping around, comparing the packages of need-based plus merit aid offered by a number of colleges and universities.</p>

<p>ED would have been wrong for my daughter for an entirely different reason: she simply didn't have a first choice. She applied to a short list of appropriate universities. She pretty much liked all of them (except our state flagship, which she thought was just too large), and she thought she could be happy and successful at any of them. I pushed her for a while to make a selection and apply somewhere early, but I finally realized that she was onto something: having a first choice leaves you open to heartbreak, so maybe it's better not to expose yourself to that risk if you don't have to. In the end, she chose the university that we all originally thought of as her safety. She liked it, and they clearly liked her. They offered her a scholarship and worked much harder at courting her between the time she was admitted and the time she deposited than the other universities, and she liked being wooed.</p>

<p>My daughter just applied ED 1 to Mount Holyoke and was accepted. She will be attending in fall 2012.</p>

<p>Research - a TON - we have been visiting colleges/college fairs since 9th grade. Daughter had a lot of things she was looking for in a school and didn't want to compromise. Mt Holyoke was the only school that fulfilled all her requirements. Scripps came in 2nd.</p>

<p>We did college tours spring break of Sophomore year. Campus tours reinforced what she liked and didn't like. </p>

<p>Sophomore and Junior year we spent time twice a month discussing a college, looking at website, reviewing literature, looking at online tours. </p>

<p>I would think that we discussed and reviewed at least 25 schools. Feet on the ground campus tours at 10 - 12 schools.</p>

<p>It really helped that daughter knew she wanted a small liberal arts college and once she started touring women's colleges that became a priority. </p>

<p>Financial Aid - we used the Net Price Calculator and knew the amount expected. The financial aid package closely matched the Net Price Calculator. If it hadn't she wouldn't be going there. </p>

<p>Daughter applied to 3 other schools EA - she was accepted at all 3 - but we know she would have applied ED 2 to Scripps had she not been accepted at Mt. Holyoke. Financial Aid/Merit Aid packages on 3 of the 4 schools were all comparable (Mills, Willamette, Agnes Scott)</p>

<p>(Repeating what I've written in another thread ...)</p>

<p>Many HS students (or parents) look at the ED admit rates and assume their chances will be much higher under that option. What they fail to consider is that they aren't comparing apples to apples. The ED pool may have a higher percentage of legacy applicants (whose stats tend to be higher than average) and recruited athletes. It will have more applicants who do not need aid. Applicants from wealthier families may tend to have stronger stats and ECs, and come from more competitive high schools. So it's hard to say how much ED, per se, is really boosting their chances. </p>

<p>In my opinion, for most students, the best reason to apply ED is not to boost admission chances but to shorten the waiting period and reduce the number of applications. Many students can accomplish the same thing, more effectively and without the risk of being locked into a bad aid deal, by applying EA to a "match" school. </p>

<p>For colleges that practice "class crafting", ED is a good way to lock in the star goalie or award-winning tuba player they think they need to shape the community they want. If you have that kind of hook, and you're sure you want to attend that one school, and aid is not a big concern, then ED might be good for you. If you're just another Bright Well Rounded Kid trying to put some spin on a Hail Mary Pass to a $60,000 school with a sub-10% admit rate, you really ought to rethink your whole strategy.</p>

<p>FA at the ED school was published to meet 100% of need so there was little risk of sticker shock.</p>


<p>That might be true if you're rather certain of what the school will expect you to pay or you're low income/no assets and you're certain that you'll get a full ride. </p>

<p>However, many people get "sticker shock" at "full need" schools because the SCHOOL gets to determine your need, not the family.</p>

FA at the ED school was published to meet 100% of need so there was little risk of sticker shock.


<p>Even if the school's estimate of the student's need matches the family's estimate -- and this is not always the case -- the school may "meet" some of the need through loans, meaning that either the student or family has to take on a substantial amount of debt.</p>

<p>The amount of need that is "met" through loans varies from one school to another and from one student to another. This is why the opportunity to compare financial aid packages is so important, and why the fact that ED takes away this opportunity is a major disadvantage for families who are eligible for financial aid.</p>

<p>I have nothing against ED. One of my kids applied and was accepted ED and never regretted it. (She has now graduated.) But we were full pay. The pros and cons of ED would have been different if financial aid was a possibility.</p>