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W&L -ED or RD- Need Advice :)

SmithNewfieSmithNewfie 0 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello all,
This is my first post on this forum, or any forum for that matter. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide. DS is a rising senior. W&L is currently his #1 choice. We are struggling with ED or RD, as it would be nice to compare financial aid. DS will be applying for the Johnson, but we know competition is steep. Do you think he would be admitted RD with the following stats? Or should we do ED? Would applying ED put him at a disadvantage for the Johnson?

Gender: White Male.
State: PA - Public HS, but one of top in state and well known
SAT: 1470 - 750 math/ 720 EBRW (only took 1x - taking again in August)
GPA: 4.6 weighted/ 3.85 unweighted
Rigor: AB Calc BC, AP Physics 2, AP Econ, IB Eng, IB Span V - taking senior year. All courses have been AP, IB or Honors level all 4 years of HS.
AP Tests: AP Calc - 5, AP Phys - 4, AP US Hist -4, AP World - 4
Subject Tests: Math 2 and AP US History - scores released Jul 10
Hooks - None really. Unless having a younger sister adopted from Guatemala that is a URM and a lot of involvement with volunteering, visiting and learning about her native culture counts.
Extracurriculars: Fairly strong. Ultimate Frisbee - Captain. Varsity Team all 4 years. Miracle League Buddy - 4 years. (Volunteered every Saturday to be a 'Buddy" for a special needs child or adult to help them play baseball on a special field. Organization started by Sean Casey, former MLB player and graduate of DS's high school. DS very involved with this organization). Math League, AP Scholar, and responsible for taking care of younger 11 year old sister as both parents work full time.
Income: ~150K
Visit: Did official visit in April. Interviewing in July.

I'm hoping that I have given you all the information that you need to chance him on ED or if he could do RD. Thanks so much!!!
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Replies to: W&L -ED or RD- Need Advice :)

  • yauponreduxyauponredux 727 replies25 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited July 7
    He sounds like a great kid. My D was a Johnson who graduated a few years ago - she did not apply ED as we were merit-hunting and needed to be able to compare offers. My guess is assuming solid recs and essays and continued strong grades, your son is a likely candidate for admission in the RD round and does not need an ED bump. He should demonstrate interest by meeting with W&L admissions reps attending college fairs or visiting his high school, writing a thank you note to his interviewer, reaching out to any faculty or alumni doing work that genuinely interests him, etc.

    Very hard to predict Johnson chances. It has become much more competitive - in the program’s initial years, recipients tended to be mostly bright well-rounded kids, but by the time D was graduating the successful Johnson candidates were “pointier” with some turning down Johnson scholarships to accept Ivy offers. @katespeare do you have any wisdom to share?

    Best of luck, and please keep us posted!
    edited July 7
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  • coffee11coffee11 7 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hi! Your son is certainly a bright and well-accomplished individual, wishing the best for him! I am an incoming first-year at w&l, went ED, and did receive the Johnson scholarship; thought I'd put my advice out there as I was in such a similar situation a year ago! My stats are fairly similar to your sons, although my school did not offer IB so I cannot truly compare to that. In my opinion, based off of your son's statistics and ECs, the chances of his admission through RD are very high. However, essays are extremely important, and he should be as intentional as possible when writing them (particularly in regards to the Johnson essay - my understanding is that this essay is extremely important in the Johnson selection process). Demonstrated interest is another factor that I believe is important, so your son's visit to the school and interview should help him. Applying ED would only increase his chances of getting in as it is a smaller applicant pool (and clearly demonstrates strong interest), but I do think he'd be fine in the RD pool. If he did choose ED, it would not hurt his chances of getting the Johnson; the committee that has the final say in awarding the scholarship will not even know which pool the applicant was in (as is my understanding). However, my suggestion is to go RD to open up his options.

    As far as the Johnson, it's a bit more complicated and harder to predict. My thought on the Johnson is that it's less about your intelligence and more about your heart. Of course, it begins with the individual's capabilities and intellect, but once the standard for ability or intellect is hit, it becomes very much about your character. Every person invited to the Johnson weekend is intelligent and accomplished, but they want more than that. They want to know who the person behind all those stats is - what you intend to do with your life, how you want to impact the world, what makes you the person you are. I think your son is likely intelligent enough to win the Johnson, but what will determine if he becomes a finalist is his essays. I truly cannot stress the importance of the Johnson essay enough. After going through all of this last year (and so so so many drafts of essays) my advice to your son is to really think about who he is in the truest essence before writing his essay - in my experience, the brainstorming and planning of an essay is the most valuable piece to writing a strong essay (although also the most difficult). He should think about the core statement of the Johnson Program (have him look it up online- there's a whole website, and the more he can absorb about the values, technicalities and stipulations of the scholarship the better! His questions to faculty (if invited to the weekend) will be all the more thoughtful, his essays will hit on the values of the scholarship, and his Johnson interviews (once again, if selected as a finalist) will come all the more naturally), and try to think of examples in his life where he reflected those values of selflessness, leadership, and honor. Sounds like he has some great ECs to emphasize these values with :) Even if he doesn't use those examples in an essay, they can be helpful in the interview process! But the most integral, essential part to this entire process is to be genuine and true to self. Nothing else will matter if your son does not emphasize his unique truth, whatever that may be.

    I hope this was helpful! Good luck to your son, he sounds like a great kid :)
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  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 25
    No need to apply ED if in need of significant financial aid--especially since the Johnson Scholarship is not likely.

    Consider large public university honors colleges which typically award merit scholarships on the basis of one's stats (ACT or SAT scores & GPA, and, sometimes, one's class rank).
    edited July 25
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  • luckymama64luckymama64 189 replies34 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I sent you a private message about my child's experience -- W&L is great!
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