Switching to RD after already switching to EDII

I messed up on this one. So January 4th I sent a regular decision application to Swarthmore, after I sent it I realized that it’s the best school on my list and requested to change my RD application to EDII. They asked me for confirmation, I confirmed. Right after I did that, I heard that another student from my underrepresented country (Tunisia) already got in ED, so that really hurts my chances of getting in there. So I instantly regretted that, and now I want to apply EDII to Colgate but in Swarthmore’s application portal, it’s already marked as Early Decision.
Would sending them another mail to switch back to regular decision look bad?
What should I do?

ED is really not to be used to try and leverage financial aid or trying to gain an advantage in the admissions process. It is a binding agreement that is intended to show a school it is your clear favorite and that you are serious about attending. Switching back and forth between ED and RD or switching ED schools based on the outcome of another student is not the best course of action because it shows you obviously do not have a clear favorite. Colleges see through that and make admissions decisions accordingly.

As I tell my D, life is a series of decisions and then making peace with the consequences.

I’m not using it to leverage financial aid, not at all. I just want to get accepted into a good college in the US and although Swarthmore is my favorite, my chances are VERY low and Colgate is my very close second favorite and I fell in love with it so I really want to maximize my chances of getting admitted in there.

Your previous posts mention that you need a lot of financial aid and that you hadn’t had much time to work on supplemental essays. Highly selective schools are hard to get into without being an international student seeking significant financial aid. You said Swarthmore is the best school on your list but you want to change your application status because another student already got in. That fact doesn’t change your perception that Swarthmore is the best school on your list so it shouldn’t change your application status. If the school is your favorite, then stick with it. If another school is your new favorite because you think you have a better chance of getting in, that is something else. IMO, changing from RD to ED or vice versa isn’t the way to go.

Everyone’s chances are very low.

That said, if you can add to the Swat community, they will admit you regardless of another admit from your country, continent, high school, eye color, etc.

My daughter had friends at Swat who were from the same high school in Oregon. They were friends in high school and in the same graduating class. They were different people with different majors and separate friend groups on campus. Who they were is what mattered, not that they had similar letterhead on their transcripts.

My 2 cents… contact the admissions office at Swat and tell them your concerns. It will show them your commitment to Swat even if it means putting other options at risk. They won’t tell you what to do…but them knowing that you are struggling with your decision can’t hurt. Reiterating that Swat is your first choice (even though with ED they can assume as much) is always good. Be honest and sincere. Good luck!

Someone just told me that I have until March 1 change my Colgate application to EDII if I get rejected from Swarthmore, so basically I can apply EDII to two different colleges. Is this legal/ethical or would I be breaking any rules?

From one of Swarthmore’s web pages: “The Early Decision plans are designed for candidates who have thoroughly and thoughtfully investigated Swarthmore and other colleges and found Swarthmore to be an unequivocal first choice. On applying to Swarthmore College, Early Decision candidates may not file an early decision application at other colleges, but they may file early action/regular applications at other colleges with the understanding that these applications will be withdrawn upon admission to Swarthmore.”
My understanding is: you may NOT apply ED II to Colgate with your ED application to Swarthmore already submitted and confirmed; however, you may apply RD to Colgate (by January 15), and exercise your option to switch to ED II at Colgate by March 1, if Swarthmore’s decision is not favorable to you. Swarthmore’s notification date for this round of ED is February 15, so there will be time to switch at Colgate if need be.


That couldn’t be more perfect for me. Since Swarthmore is my top choice and if that doesn’t work out I can EDII my second choice. Thanks for the input!

Good luck and do ascertain with Colgate Admission and your college counselor.

If I were you I would delete this thread. I doubt there are many ED2 applicants to Swarthmore from Tunisia. You have outed yourself whether or not you intended to. And I believe admissions officers skim these boards.

Swarthmore and Colgate are complete opposites in terms of culture. I’m curious how you narrowed it down to these two.

Can you please elaborate on their differences?

I completely agree with goldpenn. Culture at Colgate and Swat could not be more different. Excellent education offered at both. But Swat is extremely diverse, collaborative and friendly. Colgate is more homogeneous, a party school, 85% participate in Varsity sports.
You will work your butt off at Swat as coursework is extremely intensive, but the professors want everyone to succeed - are very supportive and available.

**I am the parent of Swat Junior who was accepted off waitlist and had originally enrolled at Colgate. While Colgate would have been an excellent education it was not a good fit for my quirky, non drinking, theatrical nerd. Swat has been an absolutely amazing experience for her.

I’m not sure about the totals, but there is no chance 85% of the 3,000 students at Colgate participant in varsity sports, unless that includes attending games.

Athletically, Swat is D3 vs Colgate’s D1. Colgate has Football, Ice Hockey and rowing that Swat doesn’t, but Swat takes their teams seriously and the participants do tend to socialize in with their / other teams. Swat’s Men’s BB team was ranked #1 all of last year.

As for cultural differences, I would summarize it this way. Colgate students are focused on the connections the school creates and where they will work after graduation. The information session I attended at Colgate was primarily about internships and work. Students at Swat are focused on what they’ll do after graduation, with many going on to grad school. Swat isn’t the goal, it’s a step.