Two questions about Tufts (ED2 and SAT/TO)

My D22 is finishing the remainder of her college applications and we are thinking about whether to play the ED2 card.

She was rejected for ED1 at UPenn. While she was sad about it, it did make her priorities clearer. UPenn had everything she wanted academically (PPE major and school of communications), but it wasn’t the right fit for her culturally. She is more liberal arts leaning and she’s looking now to prioritize those qualities in her search (as opposed to Penn’s preprofessional culture).

She really likes Tufts. We were able to go to online tours and walk around the (albeit) empty campus this summer. They offer a major she really likes (Civic Studies) and she’s a fan of the well-rounded, intellectual, nerdy vibe. She likes their student newspaper, the music and theater opportunities, and being close to (but not in) Boston.

3.93 UW, 4.4 weighted. 11 APs, 1470 superscore SAT (710 verbal/760 math). ECs include News editor of paper, member of our county’s Youth Commission (advises the Board of Supervisors, works on educational equity issues), theater (some lead roles), founder of anti-racism book club that is raising funds to donate classroom sets of anti-racism books to English classes, she tutors elementary school kids in writing, president of a fundraising club at school, plays 3 instruments (mostly for fun now), sings with a Foundation that raises money for musical education.

(She is unhooked, white, and full pay.)

My questions are:

  1. Tufts is known for yield protection but also never reports their ED stats. This leaves the impression that they have been filling their classes with ED kids for years (looks like their yield is now about just under 50 percent). Do you think ED2 offers a worthwhile advantage here?

Context: she’s also still excited to apply RD to a few places (including Yale and Bowdoin, despite the long odds). She leans away from ED2 generally but says that she would be thrilled to land at Tufts if she were accepted ED2.

  1. Regardless of the ED2/RD decision, should she submit scores to Tufts? Looking at the 2020-2021 CDS, the 25-75 range is 1400-1510. Her score appears to put her over the 50 percent mark. However, this year seems to be off the charts and I don’t know if reporting a sub-1500 score is a solid decision.

Any thoughts? I also want to add that she’s been accepted early action to a few places that she is also happy to choose from if none of these super selective choices bear out, including University of Oregon Honors, UVM, Fordham and Macalester.

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Tufts is infamous for yield protection but I am not sure they really do it much nowadays.

For ED2, lacking actual data, my impression is that ED2 is harder to get in than ED1.

Tufts is a great school and my daughter loved it so much that she did ED1 this year and was just accepted.

Don’t think her SAT score would hurt, so report it.


For ED, your daughter needs to be certain that she would love going to Tufts. Is that the case? I ask because Penn is a very different school.

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Very much so. The rejection at UPenn caused a reckoning of sorts… she has realized she’s glad she didn’t get in and that she wants more of a liberal arts experience. She likes that Tufts is on the bigger side but still offers that liberal arts feel. She wants to major in Civic Studies and Economics and minor in English.


I have no idea

I think Yale is extremely unlikely, so taking that off the table leaves you with Bowdoin and Tufts. If she prefers Tufts over Bowdoin, and money is not an issue, I see no reason not to apply to Tufts ED2 since it’s not going to hurt, and may help her chances. Being full pay may also help a little bit since Tufts is need aware (although that usually comes into play in the RD round when the aid money is running low).


It’s a question of is it her top remaining choice, can you afford it, and if full pay, do you want to afford it?

For example let’s say Mac gave you $25k a year and while you prefer Tufts for $100k or more over four years, you’d choose the value of Mac.

Then in that case don’t apply ED.

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Tufts often is “on the list” for students applying to Harvard, Brown, etc. Tufts wants to offer admission to students who are serious about going there, not lose them because they never had a chance against xyz school. There is no better way to say “I love you!” to a school than to apply ED. So if Tufts is leading the pack for your D and you don’t feel compelled to know what they other options might be and how much they cost, go for it! ED can only help.

I’d submit the score. It’s really hard to know how TO impacted the scores schools had. We’re there lots of weak scores that weren’t reported, artificially inflating the average? Were there a lot of kids who test well who couldn’t test, artificially lowering the average? Without very clear information on the who contributed to the data pool, knowing where your score sits can be a bit nerve-wracking. My sense is that it’s more than fine to meet the screen for “can they do the work?” Nobody’s going to be admitted or declined for that score alone.

Good luck!

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I agree—but I think she still has it in her mind that she could get into Yale. She likes Tufts more than Bowdoin, but if she got into Yale, she would absolutely go to Yale. So… EDing Tufts means giving up on Yale/never knowing.

So, she knows that she loves Tufts, and would be happy there, 100 percent. But—maybe she will wonder if she would have gotten into Yale. (And, for me, I prefer the bump ED gives her, and I see Yale as a long-odds game that isn’t worth the sacrifice of increased odds at Tufts.

Ugh!! This is so hard!

Congrats to your daughter @SouthYankie!!

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If she is happy with the ones she has already been accepted to, enjoy the holiday break and do not spend time trying to convince her to do the EDII. Let Tufts, Yale, and Bowdoin all have an equal footing for her if that is what she wants. She already has fabulous options. You can spend April wondering which one she will pick, for now relax and be grateful.


As I understand it, she has a very long shot at Yale, and having been rejected at Penn, she knows that. (I know, there’s not true equivalency, but it’s a useful data point.) Tufts is at the top of the “viable” list. Applying ED2 could help her chances there – even if she is deferred to RD – precisely because she’s letting them know she’d like to attend.

I’d do it. There’s a very small chance she’d get into Yale and miss that if she’s does ED. There’s a bigger chance she won’t get into either Tufts or Yale if she does RD at both. I might ask which of those downside scenarios would bother her more.

Remember that if she is deferred at Tufts - more likely than rejection -’ she’ll still have that shot at Yale.


Tufts ED acceptance rate for last year was around 18%. You can expect this year to be similar. Tufts is all about fit. Your daughter’s SAT score is within their median range, so I would submit. If she writes a compelling essay of why Tufts and she has demonstrated interest, she would be in a good position to be accepted. My son just got in ED1 and I am basing this on what I’ve seen during this admission cycle. Hope this helps! Good luck!


You could have her spend some time on the Yale SCEA boards on Reddit and here on CC so she can see the profile of students who just got rejected there in SCEA (Yale rejected more than some of the love-to-defer Ivies). (Actually didn’t Penn defer a lot? Getting a rejection rather than a deferral there may not bode well for Yale? I know, so hard to say.)

It is a battle of regrets - which would be worse for her, regretting not trying the huge long shot or potentially regretting RDing at Tufts and not getting in? (So many schools are pulling more from early rounds and RD chances are suffering - there is a thread on that here in CC).

Imo, if she loves Tufts, I think she would be so excited to get in and start connecting with future classmates that she would forget all about Yale.


Then don’t ED at Tufts


Hi @rlee70 – how do you know Tuft’s ED rate was 18%? And congrats to you son!!

@Wjs1107 , thank you! I saw it somewhere on one of the forums. Lol, I’ve searched up that same info before we decided on ED for our son. I know Tufts doesn’t usually publish those stats, but whoever posted it had some inside info. Anecdotally we initially considered UPenn as ED1 and Tufts as ED2, especially because we had a legacy hook at Penn. Ultimately son didn’t like the campus feel and got put off by a virtual presentation he signed up for. He decided in the end Tufts was a better fit for him.

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I was in the same boat - always loved Tufts and was torn about ED2 as I was just deferred ED from Cornell and wanted to wait to see what would happen - wound up with the transfer option from Cornell. (Hindsight - Cornell wouldn’t have been as good a fit as Tufts)

I chose not to ED2 to Tufts and was waitlisted…I regretted not doing ED2 …until May 6th when I was called off the waitlist!! (current soph)

I would say Yale is a longshot for anyone and Tufts loves demonstrated interest - ED2 would be the way to go.

I had need and Tufts met all my need - my most generous offer came from Tufts.

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My son had a similar stat to your daughter last year, although he was more STEM oriented. He took 7-8 AP courses. His high school has the trimester system, but the third trimester doesn’t weight the grade, so even he gets A in AP, he only gets 4.0, so his GPA always went down at the third trimester. He had 2 B’s in entire his high school career. His unweighted GPA was something like 3.96. He was a president of robotic team. He did not study for SAT due to COVID, but surprisingly he was able to take the test in December, and he got 1470.

He did not apply EDs to any schools, because 1) he did not really care about the colleges. He was perfectly OK to go to a community college as long as he can study CS. If he had to pick one school, that would have been Harvey Mudd. 2) Although he was not so motivated, we selected a couple of prestige schools at the last minutes just in case he gets in. Tufts, Cornell and Rice. All of them he was rejected. Later I learned that all these schools value the demonstrated interest.
Beside the fact that CS is an impacted major, we thought it was not possible to get in without showing the demonstrated interest.
In the end, he always wanted to go to school close to home, he chose to go to UCSD with majoring CS.

My advice to you is that those schools are reach to any top students. Showing demonstrated interest is a must. If I were you, I would have your daughter to apply ED2 to Tufts. The reason I don’t recommend Yale is that there are much more qualified students in the ED2 pool. It is kind of sad to think that you are a dime a dozen, and treated as a number rather than as a person in this application process. I started to think that it’s OK to get rejected, you may try again for the grad school later on.

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@Wjs1107 , I went back to look for the numbers…

Anonymous wrote:

Anonymous wrote:The ED1 acceptance rate was approximately 18%. 8% deferred, and roughly 75% denied. Applications up 17%.

Congratulations to all the admitted class of 2025 at Tufts!

Where is this information from?

It’s a much lower acceptance rate than in previous years……defy-expectations-20f3fcc72d62

I also saw it on reddit from a verified admissions counselor.

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Thanks so much for looking it up, @rlee70! And it looks like the overall admissions rate was 11 percent for the class of 2025. So I guess the RD rate was something below 6. Ouch. Not that much different than an Ivy.