For ED applicants applying for financial aid, why don’t colleges do this:
- Require that FA applications be made by the ED deadline.
- Process the FA applications to give FA pre-reads.
- Deliver the FA pre-reads to the applicants well before the ED decision release date.
- Give each applicant a choice after seeing the FA pre-read, with a deadline well before the ED decision release date:
a. Keep the application as ED, but with no option to “back out for financial reasons” if the actual FA is at least as good as the FA pre-read in the absence of documented adverse financial events.
b. Switch the application to RD. (default if no answer)
This method keeps both the college and the applicants more honest about ED.