When ED or EA is not an A...

<p>I know many of you are on pins and needles awaiting these decisions. Can I just share our experiences in the hopes it will help someone else.</p>

<p>In each of the past 2 years my sons have done ED. The eldest was rejected outright, the younger was deferred. </p>

<p>With the first son the ED school was his clear first choice at the time he made the application, he had loved the school from the outset...and he is the sort of kid for whom reducing the workload associated with college applying was a big incentive (ie, he can be motivation-challenged). We were sure ED was the right approach. When he didn't get in, there was- this is true- only the briefest of 'smirks' (best way to describe his face) and then "I guess I have to do the other applications." The other applications were all Common App as was the ED school. He had a few supplements to write. He loves to write so it was no big deal. The applications went in quickly. He had his first acceptance 4 weeks later, and 6 additional acceptances ultimately- so he was in to 7/7 of his Non-ED schools (one after WL). The ED school was comparably ranked(a top 15 LAC) to some of these schools- so we will never know why the frank rejection, but his grades in the first semester of senior year were fabulous. Basically, aside from the 'inconvenience' and cost of the additional applications, there was nothing lost in applying ED, but nothing gained either. By the time he had to make a decision in April, I am honestly not sure if he would have picked the ED school again...he loves the school he attends. </p>

<p>Last year son #2 had 3 'high reaches' on his list and wanted to apply early to one of them. He had no distinct favorite. He chose to apply ED to the school where his legacy status meant the most in the ED round. He was the only ED applicant from his HS to this school. We were a bit concerned about the strategy with this son. Unlike his older brother he can exhibit strong emotional responses, and we knew the timing of the ED decisions/exams/holidays/other applications would all be touchy. After much discussion, he had decided to go for it...and he was deferred. Unlike his brother, he was definitely angry- for about 30 minutes. ALso unlike his brother, he had a lot of non-Common app schools, and lots of work to do to get the applications done (he had done only a few possible essays after the ED went in, his focus was on getting stellar grades first quarter and on his EC committments). </p>

<p>We had decided to not plan a Christmas holiday so that he would have the time he needed to write the applications. It wasn't 'fun', but he took it on and did great work on the applications and they all went in in a timely manner. He was neither morose nor downtrodden. I was a bit worried because he had an 'optimistic' list of schools by my read...Also, the ED school sent me a letter (as an alum) that I never showed him which said basically- don't plan on your kid getting in RD (Only 9% admit rate for kids who apply ED in the RD round) but please still give us your money!!</p>

<p>Well, again, a very happy ending. Of the 8 other schools to which he applied, he was rejected at 1, WL at 2 and accepted at 5, He was also accepted to the ED school in the RD round- and that is the school he decided to attend.</p>

<p>He was the only one of his friends to not get in ED/EA who had applied(others in to Swarthmore, Dartmouth, Cornell and Stanford). Again, aside from the inconvenience, time expenditure and cost, the outcome as a result of applying ED was neither here nor there. For the particular school he is attending now, showing strong interest does really matter- but clearly something else must have made the difference from ED to RD (?strong grades, a new award, an additional recommendation and essay, near perfect predicted scores on IB exams, none of his classmates ranked 1-4 applied to his ED school? all possibilities).</p>

<p>All of this is just to say that if it doesn't work out as originally hoped in the next few weeks, it can still work out very well in the end. I think the ED decision result can and should prompt a re-look at the list to make sure there is a solid safety, but hopefully the list was constructed that way anyways.</p>

<p>So good luck, I am sure glad we are not going through this for a 3rd year in a row....</p>

<p>"Well, again, a very happy ending. Of the 8 other schools to which he applied, he was rejected at 1, WL at 2 and accepted at 5, He was also accepted to the ED school in the RD round- and that is the school he decided to attend."</p>

<p>Thanks for posting the story!</p>

<p>In the past, we have had more than one story of students who received the bad news in the ED round only to find the "perfect" school in the RD. The ED results of Yale were particularly brutal two seasons ago. Not all stories have a happy ending, but for most the process works out for the best. For some, the students ended up at schools where they are "ecstatic."</p>

<p>Apart for all the strategical/logistical discussion of ED, there is the simple case of when a kid does have a strong and certain sense of where they want to be and ED allows a wonderful simplification of a complex process that benefits both school and student. My son is an example of this situation. There was no competition in his mind for a first choice. We made him visit an alternative before letting him apply ED. And we clearly shared his view that it was a good match. Fortunately it was a match and he was admitted. The agony of the application process and wait were foreshortened. His acute senioritis was over and done in time to salvage his grades before graduation. The school (a somewhat remote West Coast LAC that knows they will be a "safety" for a percentage of kids) had a solid YES. For situations like ours ED is humane and worked like I think it was orginally desiged to work...</p>


<p>I really appreciate your taking the time to share this wisdom. I have a S who is so set on his ED school, which I fear is not going to work out for a number of reasons. I will take to heart all your thoughts and will be better prepared to help him emotionally should the ED school not be possible. Thanks!</p>

<p>This is a page from the "old book" that offers some great advice as well as a nice trip down memory lane: </p>

<p><a href="http://www.collegeconfidential.com/discus/messages/70/44133.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.collegeconfidential.com/discus/messages/70/44133.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The outcome was very different in April 2004!</p>

I hope it works out for your son better than you fear, whether ED or not...when my S#2 in particular started accumulating acceptances, the mother of 2 of the kids accepted ED both told me their children were a bit sorry that at that point they didn't have a choice to make, too. As it turns out, all the kids are quite happy at their respective schools... :)</p>

I was not 'onto' CC until April 04 when son #1 was deciding. The themes don't change....neither do some of the cast of characters...</p>


<p>As you well know, our disheartening EA experience last December gave way to joyous acceptances and difficult decisions come April. How I wish I knew then what I know now. Thanks for a great post. ~b.</p>

<p>When S applied to college five years ago, he applied ED to an East Coast university after spending an overnight there and meeting a lot of students with whom he got along well. He truly believed that that school was the place for him even though H and I thought otherwise. (He wanted to major in design and the program was very limiting and was not a particularly good fit for his interests.) He was deferred to RD which, although disheartening for him, turned out to be a good thing because he ended up getting accepted to UCLA (from which he graduated last spring). The design program was so much broader and a much better fit for what he wanted to do.</p>

<p>D successfully applied ED last year because she really had her heart set on a particular LAC. Different scenarios, different outcomes, but all for the best.</p>