To EA or not to EA

<p>My junior son is very interested in an OOS public that offers early action, but not early decision.</p>

<p>We are visiting the school over Spring Break, and I think we'll know after the visit if it is his first choice.</p>

<p>So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of applying EA?</p>

<p>Other salient facts:</p>

<ul>
<li><p>According to his high school's Naviance, the college is a target for him -- bordering on a safety. He goes to a very highly regarded public high school, and the college has only turned down one student in the last 3 years.</p></li>
<li><p>We won't need financial aid. </p></li>
<li><p>The college student body is 60/40 women/men.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>I can't think of any downside to EA. For my dd who is a senior, her EA acceptances are a comfort as we await RD results.</p>

<p>Do you mean Early Action not Early Decision?</p>

<p>Advantages of EA:
Your child will have finished the Common Application and gotten all the teacher recommendations etc. organized by mid-October
You might get an admissions boost (this varies by school - keep in mind that the EA applicants probably are a stronger more organized bunch)
You don't have to show your fall grades (though they can't go down much from junior year grades)
If you get accepted you can relax - you are going to college!
If you get rejected or deferred you can consider whether there's anything you should improve about your application (my older son added some outside recommendations)</p>

<p>Disadvantages to EA
You might not put as much thought into the application
Your fall grades might boost your GPA and ranking</p>

<p>Advantages to ED
Your child will have finished the Common Application and gotten all the teacher recommendations etc. organized by mid-October
You will almost certainly get an admissions boost (this varies by school - keep in mind that the EA applicants probably are a stronger more organized bunch)
You don't have to show your fall grades (though they can't go down much from junior </p>

<p>Disadvantages of ED
You might not put as much thought into the application
Your fall grades might boost your GPA and ranking
You are obligated to attend - by spring you might have a different idea of what you want
You can't compare financial aid offers</p>

<p>Personally I think you should apply EA to any school on your list that offers it. I'm not a big fan of ED.</p>

<p>I agree with mathmom - S applied EA to all schools that offered it on his list. And another reason to apply EA - I know at least two of his schools gave out scholarships to EA applilcants that were not offered to regular apps.</p>

<p>Early ACTION really has no real downside. The student has the chance to get an early acceptance to a school which is always nice. My DD did EA applications to two schools and one rolling admissions. For those three schools, she had her acceptances before Christmas. BUT she did not have to make a matriculation decision until May 1...and she didn't! She did however choose one of those schools!</p>

<p>My son did two early auditions that had early admissions as well. He had both of those acceptances by the second week of December. Again...non-binding and he didn't make a decision until late April. He did not choose one of the EA schools.</p>

<p>Regardless...those early acceptances are very nice to have.</p>

<p>As Mathmom pointed out...the ONLY disadvantage is if your student might benefit from having those first semester grades to boost the GPA or might benefit from a later retake of the SAT/ACT. BUT if your student's grades through grade 11 and standardized test scores are fine, I'd say...go for it.</p>

<p>My only free advice...it's an out of state public that you are looking at. Please make sure you can cover the costs of attending before you allow your student to apply OR be sure he/she will get guaranteed merit aid based on his stats. Most OOS publics do not offer need based aid that meets the need of students from OOS.</p>

<p>One more thing...as long as your son is doing those EA applications...just have him complete all of his applications. My kids got theirs done by the mid-October and both said it made their senior years SO nice. While their friends were fretting about getting applications done, our kids were enjoying some early acceptances.</p>

<p>Thanks, all.</p>

<p>It is Early Action not Decision.</p>

<p>SAT/ACT will be over with this Spring, barring disaster.</p>

<p>Fortunately, we are able to pay full costs.</p>

<p>I don't really see any downside to him applying EA either. I think in the worse case, he would be deferred to Regular Decision.</p>

<p>I think EA is fabulous! It is wonderful having acceptances (hopefully) by December or January. The only time I would not recommend it is for a student who had a bad junior year - declining grades. In that case - the student needs to have a strong first semester senior year and apply RD. No point in applying EA and being rejected.</p>

<p>Agree - no down side to EA. And as described above, it's a great incentive to get things done early!</p>

<p>For anybody considering ED next fall - Just Say No. (OK, there are some circumstances where it makes sense. But for most students, it pays to have more flexibility to compare offers.)</p>

<p>ED can be a good thing for a student with a definite first choice who has no financial need, and who is applying to a very selective school. But yes, most students are not in that situation.</p>

<p>Here's my take on a downside. My son was not a strong candidate for the one school he applied to that had early action. I thought it would cause less agony to wait until April than to be deferred and wait and wait. My son did apply to several schools with rolling admission and had several acceptances in hand by Christmas. He did, however, get his application for the early action school in early to show interest.</p>

<p>My daughter, a top student, applied to two schools early action and had both acceptances in hand by Christmas, plus a couple from rolling admission schools.</p>

<p>I seem to recall that there was a thread with a list of rolling admissions colleges. Can anyone provide a link?</p>

<p>I really like the idea of having an admission or two in hand (hopefully!) in November or December.</p>

<p>Here's one important downside to EA:</p>

<p>Some schools get overwhelmed and will not accept everyone. Sometimes EA is reserved for alumni. I know in Notre Dame, where they had a huge surge of applicants, non-legacy students were denied or deferred, probably b/c they had so many. I think this happened at Gtown as well.</p>

<p>Very interesting, limabeans. I suppose it couldn't hurt to ask the admissions staff about the EA acceptance rate during our visit. The worst that can happen is they won't tell us.</p>

<p>Am I correct in saying another advantage to early decision is if you are a legacy to that school? I'm pretty sure some schools, including some top tier schools, only give preference to the legacy status if you are an ED applicant and not a RD applicant. Unless I'm wrong.</p>

<p>Don't confuse EA and ED.</p>

<p>No downside to EA. My second son had all EA schools and one that only had RD (and ED which he didn't want to do). He heard back from all his EA and totally lost interest in the RD school between January and April. EA also allows kids to enjoy their senior year, something I am heartily in favor of.</p>

<p>Sometimes you can get the EA acceptance rate from college board.</p>

<p>Another big appreciator of EA. It was not as widely available with DS#1, but DS#2 got his application in early to every school that offered EA. Gets them off their butts to finish essays/everything else earlier in their senior year. Usually yields some acceptances before Christmas. (Also, should there be bad news, leaves plenty of time to throw in a few more RD applications.)</p>

<p>The only downside of EA is that if the student is not in the mind set of a college application, it is hard to complete all the necessary paperworks such as LOR and Essays just for those schools. In addition, if the sudent is not a strong candidate, he is likely be deferred and that may or may not be beneficial, depends on the school.</p>

<p>I am a huge proponent of EA and Rolling schools. Yes selective EA schools tend to defer many, many students, but I don’t believe that is the case at most schools. And I believe the OP said the school was almost a safety school.</p>

<p>Both of my sons had a rolling admit by October and numerous rolling admits and EA admits by December. What a relief.</p>