Should I apply to Columbia ED or RD?

A lot of posts are mentioning that for Ivies you have a stronger chance of getting in if you apply Early Decision but my issue is that my SAT score isn’t even near their lowest average. I think I’m a decent candidate without my score (they are going test optional for this year but I’m afraid that’ll put me at a disadvantage, should I just apply without my score?).

I’ve been going back and forth between deciding to apply early or regular and I’m not sure what the best option is. I would hold off until I can try to raise my SAT score and perfect my essays but I’m nervous that I’m going to have a harder time through the regular decision cycle(since they might assume I’m not as committed?). I’m just confused since people say that there’s no difference between ED and RD but I’d just like to make sure. I’m 100% alright with going to Columbia so the binding part isn’t the issue.

That’s all!

Hey, I understand your concern, I am in the same situation as well. I think I’d have a decent shot at getting in if my test scores were higher, but at this point I can’t raise them. I am applying ED test-optional.

Columbia can’t know the exact reason why you are applying test-optional b/c this year is so crazy with the pandemic. If you apply ED binding, you can prove to them that despite the fact that you have no scores, you desperately want to go to Columbia. If you work to perfect all other areas of your application, they might as well judge you fairly with everyone else possibly applying test optional too. Hope this advice helps!

I am going to push a little more on the Columbia qualification: how much below the 25% mark is your SAT? are there any material, objective reasons for it to be so far out?

“I’m a decent candidate” can mean a lot of things. Does it mean that you in the top cohort of your HS class, taking the most rigorous classes available, with something (an EC / job / hobby / interest) that takes up a meaningful amount of your non-classroom time and in which you have demonstrated growth & maturity?

ED does give some amount of boost at most schools- but the amount varies a lot, and the actually #s are inflated by legacy & recruits. But are you sure that Columbia is for you?

I am not sure what the answer is to your question, as the only info you provided was that your SAT score is not high enough. Admitted Columbia students are very smart, and they all stand out from among their high school classmates in some shape or form. I just read an interesting article on Ivy Coach, but this article is just one person’s opinion on scores, it is not an opinion of college admission officers. It is hard to say how important scores are this year, I wonder about it myself. https://www.■■■■■■■■■■■■/the-ivy-coach-blog/standardized-testing/test-optional-means-diddly-squat/ Good luck with your application!