Should I ED at my dream school or my safety school?

<p>i'm a junior and I have been researching schools. My dream school is Duke and my safety is University of San Francisco. I have been thinking of ED'ing to Duke next year. The thing is, I'll need at lot of financial aid. I'm pretty sure if they don't offer me enough I will not go.</p>

<p>So where should I ED? I'm pretty sure I'll end up at USF if worse comes to worse...</p>

<p>if you need a lot of FA, don't ED anywhere. simple as that. You don't have to ED, and the majority of people do just fine without it.</p>

<p>USF only has EA.</p>

<p>EDing at a school is an agreement to attend if they meet your financial need AS DETERMINED BY THE SCHOOL. Since most families think they need more aid than most schools think families need, if aid matters in your decision do not ED anywhere. You can EA to as many schools as you wish because EA does not entail a commitment to attend. EA to USF so you have an early acceptance in hand and RD everywhere else so you can compare aid offers before deciding.</p>

<p>I agree with the others: If finances are a concern (something that is the case for most students applying to college), then do NOT apply ED. Remember that the college, not you or your family, determines what level of financial aid is acceptable.</p>

<p>I was accepted at USF and if you are looking for non-need aid they only have one merit scholarship and you need a 3.8 and 1320 (math, english). They give $19500/year. I didn't qualify for that so I got nothing. The campus was very cool though. The nicest one we have seen.</p>

<p>If a school is really a safety college, you don't need to apply ED (early decision) there. You only need the binding oomph of early decision to help you get into a college you can't count on getting into. A safety college is one that </p>

<p>1) is pretty much certain to admit the applicant, based on its known behavior in acting on admission applications,</p>

<p>2) has a strong program in an area the applicant is interested in,</p>

<p>3) is affordable based on its known behavior in acting on financial aid applications,</p>


<p>4) is likeable to the applicant. </p>

<p>If a college will let you in during the regular round, for sure, you don't need to make a binding ED commitment to it. You may want to apply to it as early as possible in a nonbinding manner just to be sure it's REALLY a safety college, so that you can relax as you apply to more speculative colleges. IF AND ONLY IF you are free of financial aid concerns, it can be a good idea to apply ED to a "reach" college, because that signals you really like that college and will enroll if admitted, persuading the college to resolve doubts in favor of admitting you.</p>